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Local Historical Site Topics for Fall 2002 

Apollo Theater - Belvidere - Heather Johnson 

Barbara Olsen Center of Hope - Gloria Eason 

Barber School - Dominga Cardona 

Burpee Museum (modern building) - Chris Szack 

Byron Nuclear Power Plant - Melissa Lenz 

Camp Medill McCormick - DeAnne Clay 

Carlson-Russ General Store, Midway Village -Tanisha Kopp 

Carpenters Local 792 Bldg. ~ Manuel Bravo 

Chamberlain Hotel, Midway Village - Shayna Dye 

Church By the Side of the Road (Rockton) - Hollie Dyer 

Churchill's Grove Neighborhood - Yolanda Churchill 

Crusader Clinic/Bank Building on Broadway - Christia Quinby 

Crusader Clinic/Muldoon HS on State St. - Ruby Escobedo 

Danfoss Drives - Phuc Van Nguyen 

East High School - Christa Jennings 

Fairgrounds Park - Bellande Pierre 

First Assembly of God - Dana Tompkins 

Gates Rubber Company - Chris Brownlee 

Graham-Ginestra House (S.Main) - Crystal Lake 

Hanchett Barlett Homestead (Beloit) - Theresa Bellard 

Hess & Hopkins Leather Works - Cluria Tommy Wilson 

Hononegah High School - Dan Lensing 

Lafayette Hotel - Banita Bevineau 

Lathrup Elementary School - Maria Rodriguez 

Macktown Golf Course - Matt Cedarholm 

Maria's Italian Restaurant - Pat Bremer 

MELD House - Tawnya Mayor 

Muller-Pinehurst Mansion - Zack Pitney 

National Lock Company - Mark Atkinson 

Nelson Hotel - Valorie Howard-Brooks 

One-Room Schoolhouse, Midway Village - Kirsten Jung 

Pilgrim Baptist Church - Vernessa Ward 

Reed-Chatwood Complex- Aaron Serak 

Riverview Ice House - Toni Thomas 

Rock River Elem. School - David Towle 

Rock View Stone Quarry - Alana Coon 

Rockford Fire Station #6 - Matt Hallgren 

Rockford Foundry - Jon Kryder 

Rockford Hospital (Midway Village) - Amanda Hundertmark 

Rockford Register Star Building - Mike Campbell 

Rockford Standard Furniture/Benson Stone - Virgil Sansone 

Rolling Green Elementary School-Muhl Center - Brooke Nash 

Rolling Green Elem. School - Karie Burd 

Saint Anthony Medical Center - Linh Nguyen 

Saint Patrick's Catholic Church - Grace Adams 

Shorewood Park - Rogelio Gonzalez Sanchez 

Shumway Market - Sue Wenger 

Singer Mental Health Center - Tamara Vock 

Spencer Park, Belvidere - David Kays 

Times Lounge - Paul Aumock 

Tinker Swiss Cottage - Destiny Hannah 

Weldon House - Michelle Harris 

Winnebago County Coroner's Office - Kari Allen-Limberg 



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Completed Local History Topics for Fisher's 
RVC English Composition Classes 



Abrasive Machining 

Aldeen Golf Course 

Alpine Park 

Amcore Bank 

Amerock Corp. 

Anderson Gardens 

Anna Page Park 

Apollo Theater - Belvidere 

Argyle, IL 

Atwood Park 

Barbara Olson Center of Hope 

Barber Elem. School 

Bauman Park - Cherry Valley 

Beattie Park 

Beef-A-Roo 

Belford/Showplace Theaters 

Belvidere Community Building 

Beyer Stadium 

Black Hawk Park 

Black Hawk Statue - Oregon 

Bloodpoint Cemetery 

Booker T. Washington Center 

Boone County Fair 

Broadway Covenant Church 

Brooke Road Methodist Church 

Burpee Museum 

Byron Dragway 

Byron Nuclear Plant 

Byron Old Soldier's Monument 

Byron's Old Fire Station 

Camp Grant 

Camp Louden (BSA) - Oregon 

Camp Medill McCormick 

Capital Theater 

Carlson-Russ General Store 

Carpenter's Local 792 Building 

Chamberlain Hotel 

Children's Home of Rockford - Rural 

Church by the Side of the Road 

Churchill's Grove 

City Hall - (Old, Rockford) 

Clock Tower Resort 

Coronado Theater 

Crusader Clinic on Broadway 

Crusader Clinic/Muldoon HS 

Danfoss Corp. 



Danfoss Drives 

Davis Park 

Dekalb County Courthouse 

Ditullio's Italian Import Foods 

East High School 

Edward's Apple Orchard 

Erlander Home 

Essex Corporation 

Fairgrounds Park 

Faust Landmark Hotel 

Field of Honor - Loves Park 

Fiorello's Pumpkin Patch 

First Assembly of God Church 

First Congregational Church 

Flinn Middle School 

Gates Rubber Company 

Girl Scout Office - Auburn St. 

Glen Haven Mill - Byron 

Goldie's Tattoo on Broadway 

Goodwill Industries - Kishwaukee 

Graham-Ginestra House 

Great Rockford Airport 

Guilford High School 

Gunite Corporation 

Hanchett-Barlett Home - Beloit 

Harlem Amusement Park 

Head Start Rockford 

Hess & Hopkins Leather Works 

High Maintenance Solon 

Highview Retirement Center 

Hononegah High School 

Ida Public Library 

Illinois Central Railroad Depot 

Illinois Railway Museum - Union, IL 

Illinois State Police Post-Pecatonica 

Jefferson High School 

Jefferson Street Bridge 

Jewish Community Center 

JMK Nippon Restaurant 

John Devereueawax Playground 

John Deere Hist. Site - Gnd Detour 

Kegal's Bike Shop 

Ken-Rock Community Center 

Kirkland, IL 

Klehm Arboretum 

Krape Park - Freeport 



Lafayette Hotel 
Lake-Peterson Home 
Lathrop Elem. School 
Let's Talk It Out Building 
Levings Lake Park 
Lincoln Middle School 
Lockwood Park 
Logli Supermarkets 
Lucius Reed Home - Byron 
Machesney Airport 
Macktown Golf Course 
Magic Waters 
Maria's Italian Restaurant 
Marinelli Stadium 
MELD House 
Mendelssohn Club 
Memorial Hall 
Metro Centre 
Midway Theater 
Midway Village & Museum Ctr. 
Mrs. Fisher's Potato Chips 
Muller-Pinehurst Mansion 
National Lock Company 
Nelson Hotel 
New American Theater 
North Suburban Library 
Old Post Office - Rockford 
On the Waterfront Festival 
One-Room School House 
PA Peterson Elementary School 
Pilgrim Baptist Church 
Ponds Funeral Home 
Poor Claire Nuns Monastery 
Poplar Grove Airport 
Reed-Chatwood Complex 
Rev'd Up Recreation Ctr. 
Riverfront Art Museum 
Riverside Bridge 
Riverview Ice House 
Robin Drive-in Theater 
Rock Cut Elementary School 
Rock River Elem. School 
Rock View Stone Quarry 
Rockford Bike Pathway 
Rockford Fire Station #6 
Rockford Foundry on S. Main 
Rockford Hospital 
Rockford Memorial Hospital 
Rockford Public Library 
Rockford Register Star Building 
Rockford Rescue Mission 



Rockford Seminary 

Rockford Speedway 

Rockford Standard Furniture/Benson 

Rockford YMCA 

Rockton Old Stone School 

Rolling Green Elem. School & Muhl 

Roscoe Sportsman's Club 

Rotation Station Rec. Ctr. 

RVC Administration Farm House 

St. Anthony Hospital 

St. Edward's Church 

St. Elizabeth Community Ctr. 

St. James Church (Rockford) 

St. Patrick's Church 

St. Paul Church of God in Christ 

Schmeling Lumber 

Searls Park 

Second Christian Church 

Serenity House 

Seton Center 

Shorewood Park 

Shumway Market 

Singer Mental Health Center 

Sinnissippi Gardens 

Slavic Gospel Association 

Spencer Park - Belvidere 

State Street Bridge 

Stewart's Department Store 

Stronghold Castle 

Sundstrand Corporation 

Swedish American Hospital 

Time Museum 

Times Lounge 

Times Theater 

Tinker Swiss Cottage 

Toad Hall 

UIC School of Medicine 

Wagon Wheel Lodge - Roscoe 

Weldon House 

West Middle School 

Wheeler Home - S. Beloit 

Whitehead Elementary School 

Winnebago Cty. Coroner's Office 

Winnebago County Courthouse 



The Apollo: Theatre Grand 



Heather Johnson 

Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 




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English 101 NR1 
9 December 2002 



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The Apollo: Theatre Grand 

The Apollo was once a grand theatre that was adored by all who entered it. 
Today, many people live with only the fading memories of a time that has passed and a 
burning wonder if the Apollo will be host to showing Vaudeville acts, plays or movies 
ever again. 

Long before the Civil War, on the land that would become the future home of the 
Apollo Theatre, once resided and old American Indian mound. This mound was later 
excavated by an unknown brick company in its search for the clay that they used to create 
bricks (Franck, Interview). A few of the Apollo's ancestors also lived there. 




Union Hill 



In 1869, shortly after the Civil War ended, the township of Belvidere erected what 
was once Belvidere Union Hall. It was dedicated to the "side" that Belvidere was on in 
the war (Franck, Interview). Union Hall ws built for the benefite of the town ("To 
Clear"). It provided the town with a place to hold committee meetings, dinners, dances, 
and to provide entertainment such as Vaudeville acts and plays. It was even home to 



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various small businesses and had what some called a grand theatre. 

William H. Derthick was one of the small business owners who worked in Union 
Hall. Mr. Derthick had quite a few business ventures that ranged from a wallpaper 
bussiness to meat and vegetable markets ("Derthick' s Business"). In the 1980s, Mr. 
Derthick began managing Union Hall. Shortly afterwards, he decided to change the 
Union Hall's name to "the Opera House" only to change it again to "Derthick' s Opera 
House". Unfortunately, it burnt to the ground in 1897. The cause of this fire is 
unknown to this writer (Franck, Landmarks ; Franck Interview). 




The Oertfoiclc Op^ia House ut 
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In 1897, immediately after the fire, Mr. Derthick had another theatre built on the 
same site as Union Hall. He named this new building "Derthick' s Opera House" 
(Franck, Landmarks ; "Public" ). Like Union Hall, this theatre was built to provide the 
community a place for meetings, dinners, dances, plays, Vaudeville acts, and opera 
shows. Sadly, this building also burnt down years later in September 1917 ("Opera 



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House Block"; Franck, Landmarks ). 



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Pert hick Ruins 

The ruins of Derthick's Opera House sat abandoned until 1920 when the rubble 
was cleared away to make room for the birth of the Apollo Theatre ("Derthick Ruins; 
Franck, Interview). The Apollo stands where union Hall and the DethickOpera Houses 
once stood. 

Once the rubble was cleared, Frank F. and Katherine Rhinehart, and the Belvidere 
amusement Company, which later changed its name to Belvidere Amusement Company, 
started making plans for the new theatre. Julius Rikk, and Peter and Anna Fuhs 
originally purchased the property for a mere $ 1 0,500 in September of 1 920. They had 
intended on building a playhouse for Vaudeville acts and plays("Will Build"), but when 
construction started in 1 920, it was owned by the Rhineharts and Belvidere Amsement 
Company ("Officer's"; Franck, Landmarks ). 

In June 1921, permits were granted to Belvidere Amusement Company to erect an 
opera house at the estimated cost of $75,000 ("Opera House Cost"). In the end, the total 
building costs were $100,000 ("Curtain"; : Apollo, Belvidere' s"). The reasons for the 



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cost increase are unknown to this writer. Construction was completed in 1 92 1 (Franck, 
Interview). 




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The Apollo Theatre is located at 104 North State Street. It is on the northwest 
corner of what as always been known as the State Street Bridge overlooking the Rock 
River. Although the Apollo appears to be three stories high, it is indeed only a one 
storied, brick, rectangular, shaped building. The building appears this way to 
accommodate for the balcony and stage. On the left side, part of the building was split 
and housed an empty room which was to be leased. Eventually, a soda fountain shop 
was opened in this space to provide snacks to movie-goers. The Apollo was built with 
the intention of bringing the Belvidere community together with plays and Vaudeville 
acts. 





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The building itself is grand. It is made up of different shades of brick that vary 
from beige to red. 





View of lni<l<je from insMe l><u 



The Apollo Ear 



On the left side of the building is what appears to be an "add on", but, in fact, it is 
part of the original building structure. This little "add on" is now a part of the theatre 
itself; it has been renovated into a bar. Neon alcohol signs show through the tinted 
windows. 

The front of the building appears to have a fresh coat of paint. At ground level, 
there are four separate entrance doors that have new, paned, glass windows in the middle 
of them. This glass has what appears to be a reflective, mirror coating on them, causing 
them to look somewhat mysterious in nature. In the center sits and old ticket booth 
where hundreds of people purchased the privilege to enter this building for a mere ten 
cents a ticket. Above these doors hangs an enormous sign, that extends over the side 
walk, that is painted gold with purple letters. It spells out Apollo. These are the 
signature colors for this small town. Above this magnificent sign are three levels of 
windows. Most are rectangular. The lower level of windows are circular. These 
windows seem to add the look of mystery to this building. 



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Walking around to the right, there is a new, black top parking lot. On this side is 
a painting from the Heritage Days Festival. During this festival, painters came from 
around the world to paint murals on the many sides of "Main Street". This new painting 
covers just a small portion of the painting that once covered the entire side of the Apollo. 
Only remnants of a forgotten mural lie there now. 

Along the back wall of the theatre are bricked in windows, an updated back door, 
and a commercial garbage bin. There is also an electrical pole that supplies the building 
with electricity. 




i * . 8 * ■ ■ 




Riverfront View 



Johnson-7 
The left side of the building has many arched windows with pictured framed 
glass. On the ground stand baby evergreen trees that lie along the waterfront. 

The Belvidere Daily Republicans article, "Apollo, Belvidere' s Handsome 
New Theatre," states, "This new theatre is of modern design, it is completely equipped 
and will offer a variety of entertainment, including moving pictures, Vaudeville acts and 
live road shows. The entrance on State Street is adorned by wide doors overhung by a 
broad marquise rimmed with lights and surmounted by an electric sign. A handsomely 
tiled lobby opens through French doors upon a curved 8 foot foyer which is divided from 
the main auditorium by panels of ornamental wood and glass, and hung with blue 
curtains. On both sides of the foyer are stairs that lead to the balcony seats above. The 
roomy chairs had a mahogany finish and were upholstered with green leather. The carpet 
was thick, mole colored linen. The ceiling was painted with water colored paintings, the 
walls were covered with oil paintings, and the wall hangings were made of rich, blue 
velvet. The general color scheme was a blending of blue, ivory, gray, and gold" ('Apollo, 
Belvidere' s"). 




It also states, "The stage was large and roomy to accommodate the largest 



Johnson-8 
shows. It measured approximately seventy-two feet in length and thirty feet in 
width with an opening of thirty-five feet in length and twenty-five feet in height. The 
scenery loft extended sixty feet above and had the capacity of thirty drops, which hung 
straight down from the gridiron. It had a double row of foot lights colored red, white, 
and blue with a trimming device that made it possible to fade from one color to another. 
The lighting was considered modern and top of the line. At each end of the stage was a 
dressing room for the male and female stars. The other twelve room were located 
downstairs in the basement. All of these dressing rooms were equipped with hot and 
cold running water" ("Apollo, Belvidere's"). 

The Belvidere Daily Republican states, "There was also an orchestra pit 
that held up to fifteen musicians. In the middle of this pit was the console which 
operated the Wurlitzer Hope- Jones organ. This organ was located behind a handsome 
grillwork above the stage and to the right. The player was seated in front of the 
audience and could reproduce most of the tunes made by the orchestra" ("Apollo, 
Belvidere's"). 




Balcony 

"The housing for the moving picture machines and spot lights were located at the 
back of the balcony, there was also a gentleman's smoking room ("Apollo, Belvidere's"). 



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Johnson-9 
In 1962, the Apollo Theatre was mother and host to the hometown movie called, 
Belvidere 's Hero. It was produced in the theatre and had many scenes that were shot on 
location in various areas of Belvidere. All of the actors and actresses lived in Belvidere. 
The movie's debut was on 31 March 1926 (Belvidere's Home"). 

In 1936, the Apollo was remodeled. It was redesigned to give the people of 
Belvidere a theatre as modern as the finest homes in the larger cities. First, the entire 
lobby and foyer were torn out and rebuilt to make one large lobby. The ceilings in the 
lobby and foyer were also torn out and replaced with the newest, inverted and modern 
lighting fixtures. Second, the wall separating the auditorium and the lobby was replaced 
with a new, modernistic wall. This was designed to produce beautiful, diffused lighting 
effect rather than the direct, bright lighting of the past. The tiles in the lobby were torn 
up and replaced with carpeting up to the doors and new fixtures were put up to handle the 
crowds in the lobby. Third, there was a box office constructed in between the center, 
entrance doors in the front of the building. This was done to allow the patrons to 
purchase their tickets before entering the building, therefore, eliminating the confusion at 
the door. The box office was constructed of the latest type of porcelain enamel to 
coincide with the whole of the interior. Next, the room to the right of the lobby was 
opened out to the lobby. This room was rebuilt entirely and replaced with a modernistic 
lounge with all of the modern furniture and conveniences. It was given the same type of 
lighting effects as the new lobby. Fifth, the stairways to the balcony was constructed 
with new railing and lit with the modern trend. The walls were redecorated to enhance 
the beauty of the new lighting arrangements. The new theatre was revamped to be 



Johnson- 10 
Modern in every aspect. Once again, the Belviderian's had a new, more beautiful theatre 
than the last ("Improving"). 

In March of 1940, the Apollo Theatre was sold to A.L. Hainline, of Macomb 
Company and Edwin A. Phelps of Canton. With the new ownership established, they 
appointed the theatre management positions. Mr. Cecil Shepherd was house manager 
and Charles Schweinler was appointed the assistant house manager ("Apollo"; "Best"). 

On 1 April 1940, a few minutes before eight o'clock a.m., Mr. Schweinler 
returned to the theatre to find the body of Mr. Cecil Shepherd dangling by a rope around 
his neck above the stage. His suicide came at a time when he was looking forward to 
managing a much improved Apollo Theatre; intimate friends believe that his act of 
suicide was promoted by his continued decline in health. Due to Mr. Shepherd's death, 
Mr. Charles Schweinler was appointed as the new house manager of the Apollo Theatre 
("Manager"). 

The owner's eliminated all live acts and promised Belvidere that only the best of 
new movies would be shown. The grand opening was scheduled for 7 April 1 940 and 
the latest release, Geronimo, was scheduled to be the first movie shown in the newly, 
revamped Apollo Theatre ("Apollo Will"). 

A.L. Hainline announced that the theatre would be closed for one week after 
possession of the building was transferred to them. This closing enabled them to install 
new seats, replace the movie screen and perform other improvements necessary. The 
seats were purchased from the Heywood- Wakefield Firm, makers of the finest theatre 
seats in America. They were well known for having the latest in modern design. The 



Johnson- 11 
new seats had what was known as a De Luxe spring edge and were covered in red 
corduroy. The seat bottom had red leather which together with the backs made them 
completely upholstered. It was claimed that no finer seat was made. The seats were 
also spaced farther apart to give more room for movie-goers ("Best"; "Show"). 

In August 1940, the title to the Apollo Theatre was investigated by A.L. Hainline 
and his associates. The new owner wanted to "make sure" they had a perfect title and 
retained the law firm Woodward & Loop to investigate into the old records. A complaint 
was filed by Belvidere Amusement Company vs. unknown heirs or devisees of Elon 
Burnett, deceased, for the purpose of clearing up the titles to the various pieces of 
property involved. The next step was to go to court and get proper decree from a circuit 
judge clearing the titles ("To Clear"). 

In 1950, due to the increased popularity of television, popularity of the Apollo 
theatre started to decline. The theatre decided to cancel weekday matinees. The 

attendance continued to decline throughout the 1960s. 

v 
From 1970 until 1985 the Apollo went through a few changes. The first was a 

sale to an unknown person who turned it into a pornographic movie theatre in 1970. 

Next, it became a Dollarodean and began showing films for one dollar in 1974. 

Sometime in 1975, a fire started in the theatre due to arson. Fortunately, officials caught 

the fire quickly and were able to subdue the flames and save the Apollo from certain 

destruction. A few days later, authorities caught the two teen-agers that were responsible 

for starting the blaze. The Apollo Theatre closed in 1 978 for three years. The reasons 

for this closure are unknown to this writer ("Curtain Call"). 



Johnson- 12 
In 1985, William Shacklee bought the Apollo Theatre. He installed a video rental 
store in the old soda fountain shop, but the theatre itself remained empty. Mr. Shacklee 
bought the building in hopes of renovating the dilapidated theatre. He had planned on 
turning the old building into a dinner theatre, but after a decade of trying to renovate the 
building, he gave up on his dream. Mr. Shacklee began working inside the theatre 
removing paneling, adjusting the slope on the floor, and hauling out old, musty seats and 
construction debris. Unfortunately, each project created more work because previous 
owners had applied layers of paint and plaster on top of the original woodwork. The 
original blue velveteen curtains were shredded. After his enthusiasm to open a dinner 
theatre started to diminish, he started storing materials for other construction projects 
inside the theatre. Mr. Shacklee eventually put a for sale sign in the window in hopes of 
finding a younger person with as much enthusiasm as he once had to buy the theatre 
("Curtain Falling"). 

In 1998, Maria Martinez and Enrique and Pascual Avila bought the Apollo 
Theatre for an undisclosed amount of money. Shortly after the sale, they started 
renovating the old building. They replaced the electrical, plumbing and ventilating 
systems to bring them up to code. The video store next door was turned into a custom 
bar, new tile was installed, major floor work was done to install a beautiful hardwood 
flooring. Next, they installed a new marquee and used lots of paint in bright and earth 
tone colors. The new stage is smaller, but it is handicapped accessible. After 
approximately $800,000 worth of renovations to seventy-five to eighty percent of the 
interior, the theatre now has a new look, name and purpose. The new owner's renamed 



Johnson- 13 
the theatre "Apollo Activity Center" ("Theatre"; "Top"). Maria Martinez and Enrique 
and Pascual Avila decided to turn the born-again theatre into an activity center. Now, the 
new Apollo A.C. is home to weddings, receptions, meetings, class reunions, corporate 
parties, and seminars (Martinez, Interview). 

Portia Noble, who has lived in Boone County since 191, stated, "Its beauty was 
what always struck me. It was something new for Belvidere; the community was coming 
into a new era. I remember going there as a freshman in high school during the silent 
movie times. I suppose all of the theatres at that time had music, but I still remember 
that organ" ("Apollo Theatre"). 

Anna Ralston, long-time Boone County resident with an interest in historical 
causes, stated, "I lived in Caledonia and used to come to the Apollo with family. I 
remember it was one of the first places I went to with air conditioning. That was a real 
treat on a Sunday afternoon. We graduated (Belvidere Class of 1939) at the Apollo 
Theatre, and had our class play there. It's wonderful that the building is being saved" 
("Apollo Theatre"). 

Betty Wright, past president of the Boone County Historical Society, stated, "I 
remember we used to have dates there. Before I was of dating age, we would come to 
town and see reviews and plays. I remember tap dance recitals there; when you were 
eight or nine years old and you would get dressed up in costumes and get up on stage, it 
was a big deal. The first movie I recall seeing the was Gone With the Wind ("Apollo 
Theatre"). 



Johnson- 14 
Beverly Hardy, this writer's mother and best friend, stated, "It was always a lot of 
fun. My parents used to take us there and drop us off and they would pick us up later. It 
only cost a quarter to get in and watch the movie" (Hardy Interview). 

David Chilson, this writer's father and life-long resident of Boone County, stated, 
"Over the years I've hated seeing that theatre fall apart. Every now and then people 
thought it was going to be torn down due to the eyesore it had become at times, but 
someone always managed to come along and bring hope to our hearts" (Chilson 
Interview). 

Even though the Apollo Theatre has a new name, it still lives to serve its 
community and provide the Belviderians with a place where hope, love, laughter, and fun 
can fulfill their lives. 



Johnson- 15 
Works Cited 

"Apollo, Belvidere's Handsome New Theatre." Belvidere Daily Republican 

30 December 1921. 
"Apollo Bar" Heather Johnson. October 2002. 
"Apollo Theatre." Landmarks, the Story of Boone County. Franck, Fred. Belvidere, 

Illinois; Boone County Heritage Days Committee. June 1985. Pp84. Photographer 

Unknown. 
:Apollo Will Have Reopening on Saturday." Belvidere Daily Republican 

22 March 1940. 
"A Sure Thing." Newspaper Unknown 10 February 1898. Ida Public Library. 
"Balcony." Heather Johnson. October 2002. 

"Belvidere's Home-made Movie." The Boone County Journal 19 June 1996. 
"Best of New Movies Will Be Run Here." Belvidere Daily Republican 

22 March 1940. 
Chilson, David. Personal Interview. October 2002. 
"Curtain Call or Wrecker's Ball?" Rockford Register Star No Date. 

Boone County Historical Society. 
"Curtain Falling on Owner's Dreams." Rockford Register Star No Date. 

Boone County Historical Society. 
"Derthick Business." Belvidere Daily Republican 1 1 January 1977. 
"Derthick Ruins." Belvidere Daily Republican Photographer Unknown. 1 1 January 1977. 
Franck, Fred. Landmarks, the Story of Boone County. Belvidere, Illinois. Boone County 



Johnson- 16 

Heritage Days Committee. June 1985. Pp44-47, 79, 83-84. 
Franck, Fred. Telephone Interview. 9 October 2002. 
"Front View." Heather Johnson. October 2002. 
Hardy, Beverly. Personal Interview. October 2002. 
"Heritage Days Mural." Heather Johnson. October 2002. 

"Improving of Theatre to Start Monday." Belvidere Daily Republican 28 November 1936. 
"Manager Shepherd Hangs Himself on the Stage." Belvidere Daily Republican 

1 April 1940. 
Martinez, Maria. Personal Interview. October 2002. 
"New Theatre Will Be Opened in January With Musical Comedy." Belvidere Daily 

Republican\5 December 1 92 1 . 
"New Structure on Site of Old Derthick Opera House." Belvidere Daily Republican 

Photographer Unknown. 30 December 1921. 

"Officer's For Amusement Company." Belvidere Daily Republican 21 March 1921. 

- 
"Opera House Block Burns." Republican Northwestern 2 October 1917. 

"Opera House Cost $75,000; Ferro Plant Cost $24,000." Belvidere Daily Republican 

June 1921. 
"Public Places." Past and Present, Boone County. Illinois. Author Unknown. Chicago, 

Illinois; Ottaway and Colbert Printers. 
"Riverfront View." Heather Johnson. October 2002. 

"Show Houses in New Hands on April 1 st ." Belvidere Daily Republican March 1940. 
"Side View." Heather Johnson. October 2002. 



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"Stage is Large." Gary L. Carlson. Rockford Register Star No Date. 
"Theatre Gets New Look, Purpose." Rockford Register Star 24 October 2001 . 
"To Clear Flaws in Title for Theatre." Belvidere Daily Republican 27 August 1 940. 
"Top Building Projects Reflect Tight Market." Rockford Register Star 6 May 2001 . 
"Union Hall." Landmarks, the Story of Boone County. Franck, Fred. Belvidere, Illinois; 

Boone County Heritage Days Committee. June 1985 pp44. Photographer 

Unknown. 
"View of Bridge From Inside Bar." Heather Johnson. October 2002. 
"Will Build This Season on Site of old Opera House." Belvidere Daily Republican 
25 September 1920. 



The Ending & Beginning 




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Dominga Cardona 
English 101 
November 24, 2002 
Archival Essay 

The Ending and Beginning of An Era 

Orson Ford Barbour and Barbour School will always be remembered. One for 
being an outstanding citizen and the other for educating their students well, therefore, 
they will both be honored in their own special way. 

On April 10, 1915, John F. and Ella Ballou sold a piece of land to the Rockford 
Board of Education for the price of fifty-five hundred dollars. The area that got sold was 
where the old Barbour School stood (Warranty Deed, City Hall). 

O. F. Barbour School was finished on August 1, 1916, and a year later it was 
opened. The building was designed as a fireproof building with brick and tile walls, 
reinforced concrete floors and roof. There were four contracts for the construction of the 
building. The general contract included mason work, tile work, plastering, carpenter 
work, hardware, iron work, sheet metal work, painting, vacuum cleaner, etc. There were 
also separate contracts for the Electric Wiring, Plumbing, Heating and Ventilation (O. F. 
Barbour School Building). 

One year later in 1917, O. F. Barbour School was completed at a cost of 
$124,959,98 being the highest price paid for a school building in Rockford up to that 
time. A cost improvement of $4,450 was made in 1923, and another cost improvement of 
$7,893 was made in 1925 to bring its cost to $137,282.98 ("New Schools"). During the 
same year Barbour School was opened, a war broke out throughout the entire world. It 
would later be known as World War I (Rockford Chronicles, 21-22). 



Cardona 2 

O. F Barbour, was a public-spirited citizen, an active participant and important 
figure in the growth and history of Rockford. He was an educator for 49 years, was 
honored in 1917 by having Barbour School named after him. His record of forty-nine 
years as principal of Kent School is, up to this date, outstanding in the state of Illinois. 
He was offered the job in 1866. Mr. Barbour was born in Perry Lake County, Ohio, 
September 30, 1834. He was educated at Hiram College in Painesville, Ohio, with James 
Garfield has his roommate, later President of the United States. At the age of 1 8, Mr. 
Barbour began his career as an educator, coming to Illinois to take charge of Plainfield 
Schools ( Scrap Book ). 

As a member of the Rockford Public Library Board for 39 consecutive years, 
Barbour sought a gift from Andrew Carnegie in 1891 to help provide an adequate library 
for the city of Rockford. Due to Barbour's efforts and influence, he was able to get 
Andrew Carnegie to donate $60,000, to the city of Rockford, for this project ( Scrap 
Book ). For his twenty-five years of work on the Library Board, pupils at Barbour School 
signed a petition in 1963 to have the new wing of the library named the O. F. Barbour 
Wing (Barbour Students Honor Namesake). 

It was Orson Ford Barbour who originated the "salute of the flag" generally 
observed by Illinois Schools throughout these years. It was in April 1876, that the pupils 
of Kent School, under Professor O. F. Barbour, raised the first school staff flag and flag 
and has kept it continuously up since that time. On this memorable day the pupils 
ascended to the roof and assembled there in order and sang "Unfurl Our Glorious 
Banner". On June 14, 1876, Orson Ford Barbour directed that his pupils stage a Flag 
Day ceremony. Barbour chose that day because it was on June 14, 1777, that the 



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Cardona 3 

Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag. He created an 
elaborate five-step ceremony, which consisted of hand to the forehead, first, then to the 
breast, and finally right arm extended straight up, all done snappily. He also wrote a 
salute to the flag, which was widely used in American schools and copied by English 
schools. He was an instrumental in getting the Kent School students to place flowers on 
soldier's graves in Rockford cemeteries. This custom became national in scope as part of 
Memorial Day. Orson Ford Barbour died on April 27, 1915. The day of his funeral, all 
the schools in Rockford closed down in his honor ("Barbour Family Travels to City"; 
"From The Days That Belong To The Ages"). 

Mr. Manis is the custodian at Barbour Language Academy School, and has been 
there for 30 years. John Manis started worked when he was 18 years old, and has worked 
for five principals at Barbour School. When asked about the "Legend of the Bell", and 
he said it was true. Ten years ago he was working for Mr. Anderson, the principal at that 
time, and every Thursday at 1 1 :45 a.m. a bell would ring. Mr. Manis and Mr. Anderson 
would look for that certain bell, but they never found it. The only thing Mr. Anderson 
did was laugh and say, "that is the Ghost of Mr. Barbour," (Manis, Interview). 

The Rockford discrimination law suit court order decision started when they 
closed West High School. The closing of West High School sent students either to 
Guilford or Auburn High School, but some of the parents refused. Several parents got 
together and hired a lawyer from Chicago by the name of Bob Howard to help them fight 
for their children's right. The court order's final decision affected eight schools, Barbour 
being one of them (Manis, Interview). 



Cardona 4 

In 1996, a decision was made by the federal court that the old Barbour School was 
to be replaced by a modern bilingual magnet school. There were mixed feelings among 
the staff members at Barbour School. Some of the staff members were excited while 
others were dispirited. The 79-year-old school, named after Orson Ford Barbour, was to 
be destroyed as soon as the new building was finished ("Future Raises Hopes, Concerns") 

The neighborhood school was changed to a bilingual magnet school. The 
enrollment for the first year was more than 90 percent minority and was changed to more 
than 50 percent white under court desegregation. The 238 students enrollment consisted 
of 185 blacks, 29 Caucasians, 23 Hispanics, and one was Asian/Pacific Islander student 
("Changes at Barbour"). 

The Rockford School District had broken ground Monday, October 25, 1997 on 
the new Barbour Two-Way Spanish Language Immersion Magnet School. About 100 
people gathered in the school's gym as students sang in English and Spanish and buried a 
time capsule. Guests included Mayor Charles Box, Schools Superintendent Ronald Epps, 
Board President Judy Picus, and Barbour Principal Jeff Hildreth ("Where Cultures 
Combine: Barbour Breaks Ground"). 

The $7.8 million school was one of the two schools that were built on the west 
side under the federal court order, after the District was found guilty of discriminating 
against black and Hispanic students ("District Will Break Ground for Barbour"). 

As the new building was being built, construction workers left the site to protest 
the use of nonunion workers. They picketed from Thursday, February 9, 1998, through 
Tuesday, February 14. It was not clear Wednesday if the union workers returned because 
of Rockford School District requests or because the nonunion workers finished the first 



Cardona 5 

phase of the job. With the seven-day delay and the tight schedule, the 84,000 square-foot 
school was opened in the fall of August 1998 ("Unions Return: Work Resumes on 
Barbour"). 

The Two- Way Spanish Language Immersion program at Barbour School kicked 
off the first school year with Kindergarten students. With each passing year, they plan to 
have all the students K-8 participating. Students will learn how to read, speak, and write 
English and Spanish. An instruction for Kindergarten is 90 percent in Spanish. As a 
student progresses through the grade levels, the amount of instructional time is Spanish 
and English will be equal ("About the Program"). 

Staff members and students will always remember the old Barbour School. 
Just because it was destroyed, does not means one has to forget the memories. It might 
have been replaced with another school, but at least it was substituted with a new and 
improved one. I believe that O. F. Barbour himself would approve of the new building 
and program. Being a good man as he was, Barbour would push for this program, but he 
would also find new and better programs for the school. 



Works Cited 
"About the Program." Rockford Register Star . 10-28-97. Rockfordania Files, Rockford 

Public Library. 
"Barbour Family Travels to City." Rockford Morning Star. 8/3 1/69. Scrap Book. Barbour 

School. 
Barbour School Building Contractor . 10/20/15. Board of Education. 
"Barbour Students Honor Namesake." Register Star. 5-28-65. Rockfordania Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Building Keep Step With Progress; 21 Schools in Use." Register Star. 3-20-38. 

Rockfordania Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Changes at Rockford." Rockford Register Star. No Date. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford 

Public Library. 
"District Will Break Ground for Barbour." Rockford Register Star. 10-25-97. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"From the Days That Belong to the Ages." East Sider . 6/03/64. Page 20. Scrap Book. 

Barbour School. 
"Future Raises Hopes, Concerns." Rockford Register Star. 4-8-96. Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
Manis, John. Interview . 11/22/02 

"New Schools." Rockford Star . No Date. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
Rockford Chronicles . Page 21-22. 
Scrap Book . No Author. No Date. No Page. 1 1/20/02. Barbour School. 



Cardona 2 

"Unions Return; Work Resumes on Barbour." Rockford Register Star. 2-19-98 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Where Cultures Combine: Barbour Breaks Ground." Rockford Register Star. 10-28-97. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Warranty Deed." City Hall. 




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Chris Szack 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 




The bright future of the Burpee Museum 


















' 



The Burpee Museum 

The Burpee Museum was established back in 1941. The museum is located in downtown 
Rockford. The museum was two separate buildings before it actually became the Burpee 
Museum. One of the buildings was the Manny Mansion, which was built by John S. Coleman in 
1850 and sold to John P. Manny in 1864 for $15,000 then purchased by Col. William Nelson in 
1890 for around $30,000. The other building was the Fletcher Barnes Mansion located next to 
the Manny Mansion, which was considered one of the finest homes in the city. The house was 
built by Industrialist William Fletcher Barnes; noted for its classic Victorian exterior and ornate 
cherry wood interior (Rockfordiana files 6-27-37). 

Plans for the museum started in 1937 and the construction was completed in 1941. The reason 
for the construction of the museum is that Rockford wanted a museum to educate the public 
about the natural sciences, present and future. There were many people involved in the 
construction of the Burpee Museum. Some of the names that made it possible were the Nature 
Study Society of Rockford, the City of Rockford, the Rockford Park District, science instructors 
of the local public schools, Illinois State Museum Project of the Work Projects Administrators, 
Harry and Delia Burpee Art Gallery Association and the Rockford Art Association. The two big 
contributors were Harry and Delia Burpee and the Park Board; this was the second major 
purchase for the Park Board in 1937. Also, many unemployed furniture finishers were employed 



Szack 2 



due to the Depression. For 50 cents a day the workers carved the picturesque panels that lined the 
downtown rooms (Rockfordiana files 2-20-38). 

On May 24 th 1942, the museum officially opened after about five years of remodeling, 250 
invitations were given to members of natural history staff and representatives of the Illinois 
Geological Survey from Springfield. Since then the purpose of the museum has stayed the same, 
but has gone through a lot of renovations. In 1998, the Burpee Museum went through the most 
significant changes. The reason for the major renovation was that the museum was running out 
of space for its unique collection of artifacts. The Sjostrom & Sons Construction Company and 
Gary Anderson, of Gary Anderson & Associates, did the renovation. Gary Anderson & 
Associates are known for specializing in historical preservation ( Addition & Remodeling . .). 

The size of the museum has changed with the 12,000 square feet addition. The exterior of the 
museum has changed, there has been a three- story addition built on the north side of the 
building. With this addition, the museum was almost doubled in size. Now there is a parking 
over-hang in the front of the museum. Also, there are many big windows that now surround the 
museum and resemble the original ones that were installed during the turn of the century. The 
outside painting scheme was changed to five colors. The Natural History Exhibit has since 
moved to the Barnes Mansion, which once was the main museum and the upper levels now 
house the administrative offices. The foundation of the museum was replaced because it was not 
strong enough to build on. Sjostrom & Sons replaced the foundation with steel sheeting to make 
it much more durable. Masonry restoration was also done to protect the brick and cut stone 
facade. There were also repairs to the wood railings and the "ginger bread" trim on the outside of 



Szack 3 



the main building. The new Burpee Museum addition is the first major structure in the Rockford 
area to use Renaissance Stone, a man-made stone product that looks, handles and is installed as 
natural stone. The parking lot was doubled in size to accommodate about 50 cars, because of the 
growing amount of people coming to the museum ( Addition & Remodeling ..). 

The interior of the museum is much different now also. The Museum's own Director of 
Exhibits, Mr. Larry Stack, designed the main entry artwork, during the 1 998 renovations. His 
natural history design, incorporating various plants, animals and insects, was transferred to 
rubber molds and sent to a pre- cast plant for casting of the concrete panels (GeoScience Exhibit 
Overview..). 

The interior of the museum has changed to fit new exhibits and to store the collection of 
artifacts collected over the years. The auditorium itself was demolished, since it did not fit the 
architectural style and was also too small to hold the growing amount of people coming to the 
museum. The museum has added a new Geo Science exhibit that opened June 29, 2002, the only 
one of its kind within a 90-mile radius. There has been an addition of rock, gem and mineral 
displays. Plus, there has been an addition of a huge glacier models, volcanoes and the mining 
history in Illinois and DVD projection of multiple video programs ( GeoScience Exhibit 
Overview ..). 

The latest and probably the most important addition to the museum is the "Jane" 
(Nanotyrannus) exhibit. The discovery of "Jane" was said to be the most significant dinosaur 
finds in the history of paleontology. The dinosaur was found in Wyoming, by the Burpee 



. 






Szack 4 



Museum team, led by curator of Earth Sciences, Mike Henderson. Dr. Bakkar said, " Burpee find 
is one of the most important dinosaur discoveries in the past one hundred years" ( History of ..). 
For the past 60 years, museum staff has established the Burpee Museum as a great learning 
experience for the public. Since its opening, the museum has added many new exhibits, ranging 
from plants and minerals to the famous "Jane" exhibit. The outside and inside of the museum has 
changed a lot since 1941, especially with the 12,000 sq. ft. addition inl998, done by local 
companies Sjostrom & Sons and Gary Anderson & Associates ( History of ..). New addition in the 
works is the "Wilderness Walk", which consist of a recreation of a forest and plant life this is 
scheduled for completion in 2004. Also, plans for a 1 12,000 square foot addition are in the 
works, this will consist of many new buildings like a IMAX theatre, a building to house the 
"Jane" Exhibit and more buildings for other exhibits and it will cost around 35million dollars and 
will be the new Riverfront Museum campus ("$35 M Downtown"..). With all of the changes that 
the museum has gone through in just the past four years, the Burpee Museum has definitely 
surpassed the dreams and expectations of the founders Harry and Delia Burpee. Plus, with the 
newly planned 1 12,000 sq. ft. addition, the Burpee Museum will bring in and educate many more 
people than ever imagined. 






Works Cited 

Addition & Remodeling of the Burpee Museum Project description/Fact Sheet Sjostrom & Sons 
GeoScience Exhibit Overview August 2002. www. Burpee. Org/history 
History of the Burpee Museum August 2002. www. Burpee. Org/history 
"The Burpee Museum" Rockfordiana files 6-27-37. Rockford Public Library 
'The Burpee Museum'''' Rockfordiana files 2-20-38. Rockford Public Library 
"$35M Downtown Museum Campus Plan Takes Shape." Rockford Register Star 16 Oct. 2002 



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Photos taken by Sjostrom & Sons 




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Photos taken by: SJostrom & Sons 1998 




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Melissa Lenz 

English 101 Section NA1 

26 November 2002 

The Byron Nuclear Power Plant 

Although the Byron Nuclear Plant may be a very successful and important site 

now, it took a long time to get where it is today with the construction of it and the 

environmental issues. 

Even though the construction of this site was very important, so were the people 

who created it. One of those was Robert Todd Lincoln, son of the late president, 

Abraham Lincoln. Commonwealth Edison Company's predecessor, Chicago Edison 

Company was incorporated by Robert T. Lincoln, in April 1887 (ComEd 14). 

Also, Edison's growth from acorn to oak tree began in 1882 with the arrival of 

32-year-old Samuel Insull, who became president of the fledgling Chicago utility. He 

believed that electricity would be most efficient and economical if produced by large, 

centrally located generating stations which would replace the small neighborhood 

generators, then prevalent. 

i 
It was in 1907 that Chicago Edison merged with Commonwealth Electric, 

becoming Commonwealth Edison. Around 1951, Edison and several other utilities 

quietly began to study the feasibility of generating electricity with nuclear power. The 

studies proved successful and led to the construction of Edison's Dresden Station Unit 1, 

setting a successful future for an unbeatable company (ComEd 14). 

The setting of Byron is the rolling countryside of northern Illinois not far from the 

Rock River. It was a good spot to put into action all the plans and expectations of a 

generating station that had minimal effect on the environment. One example was the 



Lenz 2 

building of the cooling towers. By building these it would take up less productive 
agricultural land, eliminating the need for a cooling lake which saved many acres of 
fertile land. 

As the site was being considered, it met several requirements right away. The 
expansive farmland provided adequate space for the 1,782 acres needed. The Rock River 
could supply the small amount of water they would use to supplement the self-contained 
cooling system. (ComEd 4). 

The water supply that the Rock River gave was one of the main reasons for the 
location at Byron. The criteria for a nuclear power plant is the need for a large supply of 
condenser cooling water. This was the only choice they had within the north zone of the 
United States, where the only major sources of water are Lake Michigan and the 
Mississippi and Rock Rivers. Because of the development of the Lake Michigan 
shoreline for recreation and other public purposes, placement of another generating 
station on Lake Michigan at that time was not feasible. A Mississippi River location 
would involve many additional miles of transmission lines at a great added cost ("Power 
Plant Site." No page). 

One other environmental issue that was brought up was the discovery of an 
earthquake fracture in the rock of the site. The crack ran through the site midway 
between where the two reactors would be. "Dr. H. B. William of the Illinois Geological 
Survey estimates this fault is about 250 million years old," said James Westermeier, 
Edison project engineer ("Edison Carves Site..." No page). 



Lenz 3 

The outcome was that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Seismology 
experts testified that they had no fears of a potential earthquake causing any damage to 
Byron's nuclear power plant. ("Plant is Quake-proof No page). 

There were two reasons for all these environmental concerns. First, the 
construction of the controversial nuclear power plant at Seabrook, New Hampshire was 
put to a halt. Seabrook's design called for the reactors to be cooled with ocean water. 
Radiated water would then return to the Atlantic. This type of system is illegal, as it is 
potentially dangerous to the environment. One example would be the rising of the 
water's temperature. Second, the Three Mile Island nuclear generating plant in 
Pennsylvania's cooling system exposed part of the core, causing a shutdown. Only a 
small amount of radiation was released outside the plant, federal officials said (20 th 
Century Day by Day 4-6). 

With all this in mind, they still decided to continue the construction at Byron. 
This would be the biggest construction project near Byron. ("Local Businesses 
Thrive..." No page). It was not until 1978, that the site started generating jobs. There 
were several construction companies, besides Rockford Blacktop, that created the Byron 
Nuclear Power Plant. Blount Bros. Co. was the major contractor for the foundations and 
buildings. Ecokel built the cooling towers. Westinghouse, Hunter and Pope installed 
turbines, pumps, and other equipment. Also, the Carpenters Local 792, because the site 
was within their jurisdiction, did miscellaneous work around the site (Anderson 12). 



Lenz 4 

'The most important construction company was Rockford Blacktop. The work 
performed by them couldn't have been done any better, in preparing the site for the 
Commonwealth Edison Nuclear Station in Byron" (Turpoff 1 19). 

"Rockford Blacktop had a lot to take on. First, there was the raw size of the 
project. Over a million cubic yards of solid rock needed to be excavated and relocated in 
roughly six months. Also the requirements to blast just enough rock to assure that the dig 
was within the very narrow guidelines prescribed by Commonwealth Edison and the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). To Rockford Blacktop's credit, they not only 
preserved but exceeded the expectations of their client" (Turpoff 120). 

The building of the cooling towers was just another challenge, but was just the 
thing for Byron. While some stations use cooling lakes, cooling towers which would 
make use of latest technology, were the answer for Byron (ComEd 4). The construction 
on these cooling towers was to be done by Ecokel of Cincinnati, Ohio. The base of each 
cooling tower was formed by 36 struts formed in a criss-cross pattern. The struts were 
joined by a ring girder 75 to 80 feet off the ground. The struts were the main supports for 
the cooling tower ('Two Killed on Byron Project." No page). 

While the construction of these towers took place there were several tragedies 
along the way, such as the deaths of several construction workers. Two ironworkers were 
killed and two others injured when two concrete X-braces on which they were working 
collapsed at the site. One of those who was injured said that they were in a tublike 
device-78 feet above the ground-attached to the skeletal wall of a cooling tower base they 
were working on when the accident occurred. ("Two Killed on Byron project." No 
page). 



t> 



Lenz 5 

This writer interviewed David Chilson, a contractor for the Carpenters Local 792. 
Chilson recalled the accident happening. He remembered putting down his tools on a 
tool box and going over to see what was going on. He recalled seeing one of the 
ironworkers on the ground after the fall, and trying to help out as best as he could. After 
it had all happened and everything was taken care of, he remembered going back to that 
tool box where he had put his tools down and seeing that the beams had collapsed around 
it. After something like that happening he said he was changed mentally and 
emotionally. Even though this accident made such an impact on him, he stayed and 
finished the work that needed to be done, such as redoing the tower's bottom piece. 
Chilson recalled the first tower still being in the beginning stage when he left and that 
several other buildings were up by then, too (Chilson Interview). 

Hugh Bundle, a security guard at the plant, can remember when the units started 
running and what went on in the process. Bundle said, "By the time Unit #1 was ready to 
go on line in November of 1984 between faulty work, labor problems, and cost overruns 
many things were cancelled so that the November deadline would be met. When Unit #2 
went on line in February 1985, they were still finishing up on things Unit #1 needed" 
(Bundle Interview). 

"Then Commonwealth Edison gave the contractors an ultimatum that Unit #2 
would go on line at the February date and they would have to stay in the guidelines 
financially with no cost over runs and no delays. When Unit #2 finally went on line in 
February of 1985, the total projected price to build the Byron Nuclear Plant sky rocketed 
to 3 billion dollars" (Bundle Interview). 



Lenz 6 

"Illinois pays more for utility bills than any other state in the U.S. except 
California. There are some good sides to all of this. Byron is one of the leading 
producers of electricity in the world. Byron is one of the leading efficient nuclear plants 
in the world also, 1 ' said Bundle." (Bundle, Interview). 

Once both units were up and running and the turbine was ready to go, the nuclear 
plant would have to shut down every eighteen months to refuel. This shut down is called 
an "outage." "During these outages the huge Turbine that helps produce energy are taken 
apart and cleaned and some new parts are changed and replaced. The new fuel is also 
loaded into the reactor at this time. Every day a nuclear reactor isn't running it costs 
Commonwealth Edison 1 million dollars a day," said Bundle (Bundle, Interview). 

Another important aspect at the nuclear plant was the measure of security. When 
the Byron plant was being built, security was not a high priority, but once the units 
started running, it was required by the NRC that there be an armed security force. 
Officers learned to do searches for weapons, bombs, drugs, and other contraband that 
could be brought into a nuclear plant. All officers went through a rigid weapons course 
which taught safe handling and weapons proficiency. They were trained to use the model 
.357 revolver and the Remington 870 shotgun. Not only were they trained in armed 
defense, they were also trained in unarmed defense such as, ingress and egress situations 
of entering and leaving the plant. Explosive, metal, and firearm detectors were used 
when entering into the nuclear plant. All employees then passed through both machines 
and use an ID badge to process into the plant (Bundle Interview). 

As time went on, some current events made an impact on the security level at the 
nuclear plant. One such event was September 1 1 . After such a tragedy, the NRC made 



Lenz 7 

it clear that new and more effective procedures must be adopted. So, the outcome would 
be more training, better weapons, and more barriers. Also, instead of using the model 
.357 revolver and the Remington 870 shot gun, they upgraded to 9 mm hand guns and 
AR-15 assault rifles (Bundle Interview). 

For this writer, this would be considered an ordinary working day at the nuclear 
plant. Having worked there for almost two years, these techniques become somewhat of 
a ritual, since it is the only way to get access into the plant. Also, to have been there 
before Sept. 1 1 th and after it, this writer was able to experience the changes that involved 
the security upgrade. This affected everyone at the nuclear plant, because they closed the 
main entrance to the plant so that the employees would not hold up traffic since security 
was now to do full car checks on every car entering onto the site. So, instead the 
employees have to drive around the whole plant just to get into the parking lot. Also, 
there were many barriers put all around the plant, along with razor wire. It was a big face 
lift for this site. 

This just goes to show though that even though there were many complications at 
the beginning, over time this site grew and when it was necessary to take action it didn't 
hesitate. 

Not only did the Byron Nuclear Plant experience a face lift over the years, so did 
the community of Byron. The $800 to $900 million project had pumped new life into the 
economy of Byron, Stillman Valley, Dixon, Sterling, and Rockford. Restaurants, 
lounges, hotels and other businesses were enjoying prosperity because of the plants 
construction ("Local Businesses Thrive..." No page). The Byron School District for 
example, has been known for the past twenty-three years as one of the wealthiest districts 



Lenz 8 

in the state because of the nuclear plant. At least eighty percent of the money collected 
from the real estate taxes in the Byron School District comes from the Byron Plant. Over 
the years, the district used the money to construct new buildings and additions, buy 
computers and other teaching aides, and paid the teachers some of the highest salaries in 
the state. Both the students and the teachers benefited from this because the students 
were given state-of-the-art computers and the teachers were paid better than any other 
teachers ("Byron School District"). 

The Byron Fire Protection District also received almost $2.5 million from the 
Byron Plant in 1998. The money was used to go from Volunteer Fire Protection District 
to a partially paid fire district, which decreased response times and lowered insurance 
rates for the area. It was able to also take over the city's ambulance service. It bought 
state-of-the-art ambulance equipment, fire equipment, and initiated a rope rescue team 
that specializes in confined space and hazardous rescues. So, because of this both the fire 
district and the community benefited from it. Instead of volunteering, the fire district was 
being paid for their services and the community was able to enjoy lower insurance rates 
(Byron School District 1 '). 

"In 1998 alone, 1 1 of the taxing districts of the Byron Plant - ranging from area 
schools districts and parks to fire departments and colleges - collected $24,029,434 in 
revenue from it. The Byron Fire Protection District, Byron Library District, Byron Forest 
Preserve District, Byron School District, and Byron Museum District are some of the 
names of the taxing districts that benefit from the plant. All five of them collected nearly 
$16.5 million dollars in 1998" ("Byron School District"). So, with all this in mind it is 



Lenz 9 

not hard to see that without this site the community of Byron would not know the luxury 
it has now. 

So, even though the idea of a nuclear power plant was not accepted right away, 
over time it has been very beneficial. 



Works Cited 
20 th Century Day by Day . DK Publishing, Inc. New York, NY. 1999. 
Anderson, Leroy C. A History of: Carpenter's Local 792 . 2001. 12. 
Bundle, Hugh. Personal interview. 15 October 2002. 
"Byron School District." Rockford Register Star : 27 Mar. 99, 5A. 
Chilson, David. Telephone interview. 13 October 2002. 
ComEd. Byron Station Where Professionals Work Safely . Pamphlet. No Date. 
"Cost for Byron Nuclear Plant $4. 18 billion." Tempo . 2 January 1985. 2 
"Edison Carves Site for Nuclear Plant at Byron." Rockford Register Star . 28 September 

1975. No page. 
"Local Businesses Thrive... Nuclear Plant Generates Jobs." Rockford Register Star . 15 

January 1978. No page. 
"Plant is Quake-proof." Rockford Register Star . 3-3-83. No page. 
"Power Plant Site." _RR. 13 March 1973. No page. 
Turpoff, Glen. They Too Cast Shadows . Published by Northern Illinois Building 

Contractors Association, Inc. 2000. 
"Two Killed on Byron Project." Rockford Register Star . 2 June 1978. No page. 



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Camp Med/7/ McCormfcJc 




DeAnne Cloy 
English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



DeAnne Clay 
English 101 NC 
November 25, 2002 

Camp Medill McCormick 

In 1928, neighboring Girl Scouts started a summer camp at Camp Rotary and may 
still be there if Mrs. Albert G. Simms (the former Mrs. McCormick) had not donated her 
land (Whitehead 9 & 28). Camp Rotary overlooked the Kishwaukee River, just 12 miles 
south of Rockford, IL. and hosted ninety Girl Scouts from Rockford and surrounding 
areas the first year of camp (9). Soon they grew too large for the camp and the Council 
could no longer accommodate them. In 1938, the Camp Committee started turning troops 
away until they could find a more suitable camp for the girls. For many years, the 
Council, scouts and many others dreamed of getting a new camp. The Council and Camp 
Committee hoped to find another place where not one girl would be told she was unable 
to attend. Those dreams became a reality in 1939 when the scouts' desperate search for 
land turned up a wonderful opportunity. 

The Council's search found two suitable areas that met the girls' needs. The first 
section of land in the area was way out of their price range and the other belonged to Mrs. 
Albert G. Simms. When Mrs. Simms was contacted, she told the Council she would not 
sell the land but instead donate the 285 acres in memory of her late husband, Medill 
McCormick (27-28). This farmland nestled amongst thousands of trees between Byron 
and Stillman Valley, IL. is what we now regard as Camp Medill McCormick (parcel A, 
see map-p.13). 



■:■• 



Clay-2 
As far back as records reveal, numerous families have owned the camp land. The 
land dates back to an 1 872 Atlas that shows the land being divided into many different 
parcels owned by various families (World Atlas). The family of Mr. and Mrs. Albert 
Johnson purchased this land somewhere between 1872 and 1916, when they sold the land 
to the McCormick family (Whitehead 29). Ironically, Mrs. Johnson had a close 
relationship to scouts because she was one of many that helped organize Girl Scout 
troops in the early 1 920s. The Johnson family farmed this land for many years and her 
husband's grandparents were laid to rest in unmarked graves on the property. At that time 
settlers feared of Indians finding their gravesites, which kept the family from placing 
headstones on these burial sites. Even though the graves are not visible, stones from the 
foundation of the old farmhouse are still observable at the west edge of camp (Whitehead 
3 1 ; Osborn Interview). 

Medill and Ruth McCormick purchased the 285 acres of unspoiled land along the 
Rock River in Stillman Valley, IL. from the Johnson family. They bought this land so 
they could keep their natural view unchanged from their homestead across the river 
called Rock River Farms. This extremely timbered terrain was kept untouched along with 
the incredible variety of wildflowers blended throughout the land (Whitehead 29). This 
property, along with another 10-acre parcel called "Little Mac" (parcel D, see map-p.13), 
the McCormicks later purchased, was all donated to the Girl Scout Council in 1939 (28). 
Mrs. McCormick-Simms had but one clause in how the land was to be taken care of. 
Once the Girl Scouts received this land, she wanted it to be left as primitive as it possibly 
could and to remain a camp for at least 30 years (29). 



Clay-3 
Before the land deed was even written, the Girl Scout Council had plans 
underway. Vivian Johnson, Council's executive director at the time, referred the Council 
to James Rodgers, her business manager. James worked with board members to draw up 
a 10-year development plan for Mrs. McCormick-Simms to view (28). This plan called 
for: six units, one Troophouse, tents, latrines, wash houses, Macy kitchens and two wells. 
The first four units, Opeechee, Arrowhead, Deer Trail and Kentwood were to be 
complete by the first year of camp (30-31). Only one Macy Kitchen, a sheltered area that 
allowed campers to do their cooking and eating, would be available when camp opened. 
In later years, when funds were available, kitchens would be added to every unit (33-34). 

Prior to the camp's opening, Council held a dinner for Girl Scouts, parents and 
leaders to inform them of the plans for camp. Grace Kampmeier, chairman of Council's 
Camp Committee showed everyone a map of the camp's location and where everything 
would be located at the camp. Frances Morse, National Girl Scout Camp Advisor, 
discussed the differences of the early years of camping and what their next unit camping 
would be like (31). About 550 were in attendance that evening and all were delighted to 
hear of the plans for their new camp (30-31). 

By July of 1940, $38,000 needed to be raised to get the camp started. Money was 
the major necessity if camp was to open within one year. Unfortunately, Girl Scouts just 
started selling cookies again in April of 1939 to raise money for other council needs. 
Since the cookie sales were no longer a fundraising option, the camp would have to come 
up with other means of collecting money (25). A camp fund drive was put together in 



Clay-4 
hopes of collecting enough funding to open on schedule. They expected fifty-seven girls 
and counselors to be at the first week of summer camp. This meant that the camp drive's 
numerous fundraisers had to be huge successes. Numerous workers and volunteers pulled 
together and worked hard to raise the money and get camp started (31-32). 

Just as World War IPs chaos began, so did the serenity and security of Camp 
Medill McCormick. Imagine the terror and panic of the British as they looked into the 
skies above them when war was declared in September of 1939 (Braakhuis). At the same 
time, the National Girl Scout Organization requested Dr. R. Alice Drought, a nationally 
known camp planner, to be brought into consult on the planning of the future Camp 
Medill McCormick. For nine weeks in the fall of 1939, Dr. Drought slept upon this 
untouched land and made decisions for the future of British families, Dr. Drought could 
feel safe lying out her bedroll every night to look up at the stars. She listened to the 
peaceful sounds of life as the critters scampered around in the middle of the night. She 
could not think of the war that was going on, but only of what the future held for so many 
girls. Dr. Drought recommended after nine weeks, "that the camp site remain as primitive 
as possible" and that the fundamental purpose of building camp was to provide "real 
camping experiences" and simple living for the campers. From the land first being 
donated to all the future changes, the camp's goal of staying primitive will remain for the 
girls to learn about nature and give them experiences they may never receive at home 
(Whitehead 31). 

With fundraising and plans of development in progress there were still items that 
needed to be accomplished. First, trees had to be cleared for roads and paths. A thirty- 



Clay-5 
foot easement had to be purchased for a road, so cars could reach the camp. Mrs. Augusta 
J. Peterson generously donated this easement to the camp prior to its opening. At the 
same time, many volunteers had to be recruited to help set up tents and other items at 
camp. When set up was completed, a stone gate was built at the entrance of camp as a 
memorial to Medill McCormick. The gate was made of natural stone and inscribed with 
the camp name. Mrs. McCormick-Simms as well donated this memorial (32). 

In June of 1940, the first handful of soil was tossed in dedication to 1 169 
Brownie, Junior and Senior Girl Scouts by Mrs. Swenson, Council President. Even 
though for years the girls would have to haul water to their sites, build their own 
fireplaces and help make shelter tents, they could not wait for their chance to stay at 
camp. As Mrs. Lynn, Building Committee Chairmen stated, "They either hated it or 
loved it" (32-33). Thanks to Mrs. McCormick-Simms the girls got that opportunity to 
decide if they loved it or not. With girls anxiously waiting, Camp Medill McCormick was 
officially opened. 

In the first year of camp, 1,487 registered Girl Scouts from the Rock River Valley 
area stayed at Camp Medill McCormick (24). In 2002, 5,306 Girl Scouts registered for 
that same area, the most Girl Scouts registered since 1976 (Vinyard Interview). With the 
increasing number of scouts continually on the rise, the camp had to make many 
improvements and changes over the last 63 years. 

With growing needs, land would be one of the first improvements at Camp. In 
1961, twelve and two-tenth acres of land were purchased from the Hoisingtons (parcel B, 
see map-p.13) for camp development (Whitehead 42). In Nov. 1968, the Council 



■■•' 



Clay-6 
negotiated a purchase of another 34.25 acres bordering the camp from Mr. and 
Mrs.Gronberg (parcel E, see map-p.13). Then in March 1969, Camp traded the "Little 
Mac", 10-acre parcel of land for 8.2 acres from Charles Andrews because it was more 
accessible for the campers (parcel C, see map-p.13). This accumulation of land put the 
camp's property at almost 340 acres (45). 

In 1943, Camp improvements started with the original Troophouse being built and 
continue today with plans for a complete new unit to be built in 2003-04. The new unit 
plans to be set up like the other platform units, which will help fill the need for more 
sleeping and camping space. The unit will be located where the old Kentwood unit used 
to be, towards the river from Whipporwill Dining Hall. The new unit will be an 
Adirondack unit; each platform having 3 wooden sides, 1 canvas side with the roof 
slanting at an upward angle and will each sleep six. Dates for construction are still in the 
works (Whitehead 36; Osborn & Asp Interviews). 

Troophouse, an authentic log building, was constructed to be the main 
headquarters at camp. In 1942, scouts through their grease collection (saving waste fats to 
sell back to the federal government for use in the armed forces) and other donations from 
troops and individuals earned the remaining construction cost of $7,200. The logs were 
donated by the electric company and hewed by Carl Moen. The Moose Club donated the 
large native stone fireplace. Until 1 960, when the furnaces were installed, the leaders 
would have to get up every few hours to put more wood in this massive fireplace just to 
keep the girls warm throughout the night. Inside the Troophouse, a loft, otherwise known 
as a "snug", was built above to one side for the girls to sleep and keep warm from the 



T 






■ 



Clay-7 
rising fireplace heat. Years later, this loft was torn down because of safety concerns and 
was later reconstructed in 2000. Troophouse also offers a large wooden deck off the back 
entrance of the building with a beautiful scenic view (Whitehead 36-37; Osborn 
Interview). Once the building was completed, the Council held a dedication. For this 
dedication Mrs. H.T. Hanitz wrote in part, "This house is built with rafters strong as the 
bonds of long friendships. . ." All her words are bronzed and hanging in the main entrance 
at the Troophouse (Whitehead 36-37; Clay Interview). 

Soon after the construction of Troophouse, everyone welcomed the addition of 
electricity. With electricity, the camp would have hot water and refrigeration at the 
Troophouse. The girls would no longer have to work by candlelight, could extend their 
stay at camp and enjoy the conveniences of electricity that people take for granted today 
(Whitehead 36-37). 

In 1947, the girls' excitement grew with the planning of the first swimming pool. 
Not meeting the original fundraising goals, the pool took longer than expected. With the 
help of many other fundraisers and some major contributors like the Kiwanis, Lion's 
Club, Jaycees and many others, the pool finally started construction in Jan. of 1951. At 
that time, the cost of the pool would total $49,000. The pool also had the first shower 
house connected to it, which was extremely appreciated at camp (38-39). 

The amphitheater was located just outside the fenced in pool. Centrally located in 
camp, the amphitheater was a great place where groups could meet and hold their 
ceremonies. The author stated how the girls from her troop, "always look forward to the 



■■-' 



Clay-8 
songs and the blazing fire with other troops at their yearly Camporee. They sit around the 
roaring fire with such anticipation, sometimes roasting marshmallows and waiting for 
their turn to share a song or a skit. This is a wonderful tradition they look forward to each 
year" (Clay Interview). 

December of 1958 marked the planning of an $80,000 expansion program. This 
plan included: the Whipporwill Dining Hall that seated 200 at each meal, three new units, 
a well and plans to add on a tent to each of the existing units. The three new units were 
Riverside, Staff Cabins (located behind the Dining Hall) and Trails End. In June of 1959, 
a dedication for these sites was held at the Dining Hall. Mrs. Carl Swenson, former 
Council President and Camp Chairman spoke of the expansion. She stated, "The Girl 
Scout Camp is growing up. . . we have plenty of room for a long time to come. The 
summer camping season has been extended from one month to a summer-long program. 
We cannot add more weeks to the program, so we have to keep adding more units and 
equipment" (Whitehead 39-40). 

Storage space was added to camp in 1958. The Big Rabbit, located just south of 
Opeechee, was built to store tents and mattresses for the winter, protecting them from 
mice (39). Toda,y it houses craft supplies and allows campers an area to work on crafts 
with electricity as an added bonus (Clay Interview). 

In 1968, another building was constructed near the camp entrance for more 
winterized camping. Greenwood Lodge, named by sixteen Senior Girl Scouts for their 
part in cleaning the building, planned to have a modern kitchen, a fireplace, furnace and 



Clay-9 
an indoor washroom. Hundreds of scouts and adults were in attendance as the Greenwood 
Lodge was dedicated in September of 1969 (Whitehead 44). 

In 1 969, the first shelter house was also constructed. This was located at the 
Riverside Unit and offered shelter in bad weather. The large circular fireplace in the 
center of the house kept the girls warm and allowed cooking for those rainy days (45). In 
1998, the Riverside unit would undergo another change. The service units from the Rock 
River Valley Girl Scout Council raised the funds to build Conestoga Wagons at Riverside 
and placed the old platform tents out at Trails End. The wagons each slept four and had 
access at each end. They were an exciting addition to camp. The girls and even the adults 
could not wait to have their turn to stay in them (Osborn & Clay Interviews). 

In the late 1970s, a memorial was constructed for a little girl just northwest of the 
Deertrail unit. When Shelley Morvice, a Brownie Girl Scout died in a car accident, her 
parents decided to use her memorial fund to build a place for Girl Scouts to see the 
natural world around them. Shelley's memorial sits nestled in the middle of the woods in 
a small clearing (Clay & Osborn Interviews). Michelle Wallace started as a Girl Scout in 
1958 and remembers, "How pretty it was to look out from the memorial. We could see 
the river. The trees were so small back then" (Wallace Interview). 

Trails End was one of the farthest camping sites to hike to, offering primitive 
camping. Until changes were made, Trails End was an area that did not have the 
conveniences like all the others. It is located at the northeast edge of camp and is a 
picturesque hike out past the Whipporwill and Riverside units. It is located near the 
limestone bluffs that are beautifully covered with flowers in the spring (Camp packet). 



Clay- 10 
Trails End was not equipped with running water or latrines like the others. The girls had 
to set up their own tents, lash logs for tables and dig out a spot for their toilet (Whitehead 
42). Michelle Wallace, a Girl Scout Leader explained, "We would go out to Trails End to 
'rough it'. You had to dig your own toilets and do your own lashings." When asked what 
a lashing was, she stated, "To make your own picnic table you had to get wood and lash it 
together, which also let the girls practice their knots" (Wallace Interview). In 1998, the 
Riverside units were taken down and replaced with the wagons. Trails End received the 
old platform units and the latrines were constructed. It took approximately another four 
months for water to be connected (Osborn & Clay Interviews). 

A check-in area for troops was added in the late 1980s. The Welcome Lodge was 
built just at the entrance of camp where parents could bring their girls to check in before 
entering camp (Osborn Interview). The Welcome Lodge offers the Trading Post (camp 
store) where the girls can purchase camp souvenirs, along with a meeting room for 
training sessions. Camp's offices are also located in the building. At this point, the cars 
would be left behind and feet would be the main traffic along the trails past the Lodge to 
the camping sites (Clay Interview). 

In a meadow just southwest of Arrowhead, the Prairie Moon Tepee Unit was 
built. Three authentic tepees were constructed out in an open area in the late 1980's. Girls 
would have to bring ground cloths, a barrier between them and the ground to keep out the 
dampness, to sleep on until the platforms were built under them in 1998 & 2002. The 
latest addition in 2001 was a shelter built next to the tepees to give girls an area out of the 
rain (Camp packet; Osborn Interview). 



Clay- 11 
Two volunteers came together in 2000 to build a new ceremonial site for the Girl 
Scouts. Not far from the river's edge on the northeast side of camp, sits the Setting Sun 
Campfire Area. Named appropriately because it faces the west, the same way the sun 
sets. Troops can hold ceremonies out here or hike out to see the beautiful view of the 
river (Osborn & Clay Interviews). 

In May 2002, the old pool that required much maintenance was replaced with two 
new pools. One pool was located indoors and the other outside. The indoor pool had a 
large mushroom-shaped fountain in the shallow end that the girls loved to stand under. 
Shower rooms and bathrooms were also built inside just off of the indoor pool. The 
Friendship Center building that was connected to the pools finally opened in October of 
2002 (Osborn Interview). The Center has two large sections that can be connected to 
make one large area for those big events. If separated they each have their own kitchen, 
two bathrooms, separate girls and leader sleeping quarters and their own private 
entrances. "The new building was incredible to stay in; the only thing I felt missing was 
that outdoor feeling. Even though the woods surround you, the building was so new it 
took a little adjusting to feel the outdoors. A fire pit would be a great addition for cooking 
outside," stated the author (Clay Interview). 

Camp Medill McCormick has seen many changes over its 63 years and will no 
doubt see many more in the future. As improvements came and went, the Girl Scouts 
remained the main reasoning behind every decision. If not for the girls, there would not 
be a camp. The new Adirondack unit planned to be built in the next two years will help 
fill more needed space for our growing number of girls. This unit will probably not be the 






Clay- 12 
last, as every few years there seems to be a need for camp to continue to grow. As 
Cynthia Patterson, a past Council President stated approximately in 1975, "Perhaps there 
will be new kind of units or different kinds of camping. Perhaps new activities will be 
offered or there will be more cooperation with other organizations. However, one thing is 
certain. There will be new generations of campers returning home refreshed and renewed 
from visits to Camp McCormick's beautiful quiet woods" (Whitehead 50). 

In the words of Mrs. Lynn, past Building Committee Chairman, "All of the 
improvements and new facilities that have been added are wonderful but the quiet and 
serenity of the woods as I knew them that first Spring and Summer will always epitomize 
the spirit of camp to me" (32). 



•■••' 



Clay- 13 




MAP OF CAMP MEDILL McCORMICK 



MAP OF CAMK MEDILL McLUKMILN. . , i 

fvaprcsentag parcels of !<W. a<; atMnuxonta^ 




smStxate 



THE MACY KITCHEN 



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DeAnne Clay 
English 101 NC 
November 25, 2002 

Works Cited 

Asp, Cinda. Telephone Interview. 25 November 2002. 

Author Unknown. "Camp Training Packet." Camp Medill MeCormick Outdoor Program 

Center-map . May 2002. No page numbers. 
Author Unknown. "Camp Training Packet." Camp Medill MeCormick Rules and 

Procedures. Date unknown. No page numbers. 
Braakhuis, Wilfried. "World at War, History of WW 1939-1945." 1 January 98. History 

1939. 24 September 2002. <www.euronet.nl/users/wilfried/ww2/ww2.htm.> 
Cement/Stone sign at entrance of Camp Medill MeCormick. Personal photo by author. 

June 2000. 
Clay, DeAnne. Author Interview. 23 October 2002. 

Friendship Center with view of outdoor pool. Personal photo by author. September 2002. 
Girl Scouts of Troop #490 under mushroom shower at Camp Medill MeCormick. 

Personal photo by author. October 2002. 
Greenwood Lodge at Camp Medill MeCormick. Photographer unknown. Acquired from 

A History of the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts, Inc. Date of photo 

unknown. 
Indoor pool at Friendship Center with mushroom in background at Camp Medill 

MeCormick. Personal photo by author. September 2002. 
Macy Kitchen at Camp Medill MeCormick. Photographer unknown. Acquired from/4 

History of the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts, Inc. Date of photo 



i 

i 



unknown. 
Map of Camp Medill McCormick representing parcels of land as accumulated. 

Photographer unknown. Acquired from A Histoiy of the Rock River Valley 

Council of Girl Scouts, Inc. Date of photo unknown. 
Osborn, Kim. Online Interview. 19 Sept. 2002. 
Rowald, Doris. Telephone Interview. 24 October 2002. 
Sign at entrance of Camp Medill McCormick designating areas in the camp. Personal 

photo by author. September 1995. 
Troop #11 & #1 19 building a fire with the Riverside's Conastoga Wagon in background 

at Camp Medill McCormick. Personal photo by author. 28 April 2001. 
Troop #11 in front of fireplace in Troophouse at Camp Medill McCormick. Personal 

photo by author. 7 January 2001. 
Troop #1 1 on loft in Troophouse at Camp Medill McCormick. Personal photo by author. 

7 January 2001. 
Troop #490 at the end of Conestoga Wagon in Riverside unit at Camp Medill 

McCormick. Personal photo by author. 29 September 2001 . 
Troop #490 inside Tepee at Camp Medill McCormick. Personal photo by author. 1 8 

October 2002. 
Troop #490 on bridge between Troophouse and the Snug at Camp Medill McCormick. 

Personal photo by author. October 2000. 
Troophouse at Camp Medill McCormick. Personal photo by author, Oct. 2002. 
Vinyard, Barb. Telephone Interview. 13 October 2002. 
Wallace, Michelle. Telephone Interview. 25 October 2002. 



i,i 



Whipporwill Dining Hall. Personal photo by author. September 2002. 

Whitehead, Beverley, A History of the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts, Inc. No 

No publisher or date listed, assisted by Myrtle Mitchell. 
World Atlas, Map of Marion Township, 1872. 



rm 



THE 
JOURNEY 









13 i , I] 



. . 



: 



-"US 







Written by: Tanisha M. Kopp 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 
Fall 2002 



Tanisha Kopp 
10 December 2002 
English 101 NA1 
Archival Essay 

The Journey 

Area Rockford schools take field trips to see Midway Village. One of the first 
sites they see when entering the village is the Carlson-Russ general store. The looks 
like it was built a long time ago, because the wood looks weathered and the roof 
shingles are wood instead of asphalt. There is a wooden sidewalk under a wood awnig, 
or "overhang," as they use to call it, which is held up with four wooden columns. Inside 

students learn what stores were like in the 1800s. They were nothing like the stores of 

"i 

i ! i 
today. Many students know these kinds of stores as Super Walmarts, because the 

stores of the 1800s and of today carry everything from produce to clothing and much 

more. These two stores are the same, yet they have different purposes. The orginal 

store was called, E.T. Russ, its purpose was to bring products from area farms into the 

town to be sold to the townspeople. Where as the Carlson-Russ general store, at 

Midway Village, was built to inform people of one aspect of Rockford's history. 

Take a journey into the past where neighborhood stores were known for their 

penny candies, their supplies, and their friendly atmosphere. In 1904, a little store 

called, E.T. Russ, opened its doors to the townspeople of Rockford. It was owned and 

operated by Earl Tarbox, his wife Charlotte, and their four children: Earl, Everett, Iva, 

and Gertrude. After school, Iva and Gertrude helped their parents run the store. The 

store was located at 418 South Tenth Street, kiddie corner from White School. The 

general store sold various items such as china, cigars, coffee, clothing, and perishables 

(Carlson Interview). In the 1900s penny candies like wax bottles, Boston baked beans, 



Kopp- 



jawbreakers, etc. were stocked in every general store (Johnson). "Practically all of the 
children who go to White School go to the store after school to buy penny candies," 
says Vie Carlson remembering her mother's stories (Carlson Interview). 

Some of the products sold at E.T.Russ were brought from area farms. The 
produce was fresh, the milk was straight from the dairy farm, a town seamstress made 
the clothes, and area craftsmen handcrafted the other household goods. Since there 
were no refrigerators or freezers, in order to keep all of the perishable items like eggs, 
milk, and bread fresh they were delivered to the store every other day (Carlson 
Interview). 

1 | "^«m^~~lM 




Dry good storage counter in the Carlson-Russ general store at Midway Village (dry goods photo). 



Kopp- 

In the winter, the store sold fresh meat without certain refrigeration methods. 
The food that was kept the longest was dry foods like rice, beans, sugar, flour, and 
other non-perishables. While a customer was waiting for their purchase they could 
possibly hear some free town gossip from others in the store. A customer could also 
purchase a Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog. Some of the typical items bought from the 
catalog consisted of shave kits, rug beaters, mason jars, and tobacco cutters. E.T. 
Russ was not only a general store it was also a post office. E.T. Russ played an 
important part in Rockford's history, therefore, a replica was built at Midway Village in 
1988, called the Carlson-Russ general store (Carlson Interview). 







-n-r: - -"""^' 




.-^■i>^ 



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am* *.■■■ 



Gertrude in front of E.T. Russ on Tenth Street (E.T. Russ Store photo). 
In the 1920s or 1930s, Mr. Earl Tarbox Russ was helping a friend dig a well, 

when all of a sudden Earl accidentally fell in. As a result, Earl developed pneumonia 
and died. Not long after Earl's death, the E.T. Russ store was demolished, because the 
family was unable to keep it running. Earl Tarbox Russ also owned the Ironbrew 
Bottling Works, which was also located in Rockford (Carlson Interview). 



Kopp- 




Pictured across the front from left to right: Earl W. Russ, Gertrude Russ, and Iva Russ. Behind 
them sitting on chairs is the baseball team (Ironbrew photo). 



Due to the destruction of the E.T. Russ, the Carlson family only had pictures of 
the store. Vie Carlson and her family fronted the money to have the E.T. Russ rebuilt at 
Midway Village, in memory of the Carlson and Russ families. In 1988, the Carlson 
family hired Mike Wajtovicz and Peter Parfiewich to build the Carlson-Russ general 
store, which is a replica of the E.T. Russ. The Carlson-Russ general store is said to be 
three quarters of the size of the E.T. Russ. The construction cost the Carlson family 
seventy-five thousand dollars. The Carlson-Russ general store is owned and operated 
by the staff at Midway Village. All of the items in the store are authentic pieces donated 
by Earl Tarbox's granddaughter, Vie Carlson (Carlson Interview). 



Kopp- 



The governor and a decent amount the townspeople were present at the 
Groundbreaking Ceremony, which the Carlson family put together. Remembering the 
day Vie says, "We had to walk over barbwire fences and walk through cow pie-filled 
fields to get to the ceremony. We ran out of cookies, so we had to go to area stores 
and practically beg for food donations for our ceremony." (Carlson Interview). 

Please take the opportunity to pass down the experience of a great landmark, 
the memories of these stores and their stories should be shared with the future 
generations of Rockford. Think of our children's future, do not let them forget where they 
came from. 







**>u 






Gertrude and her uncle on a horse in front of the E.T. Russ store (Gertrude photo). 



Kopp- 10 



Work Cited 



Carlson, Vie. Personal Interview at Vie's Antiques. 12 October 2002. 

Carlson-Russ General Store, Midway Village. Rockford, Illinois. Photo by Kenny 
Roberts. 8 December 2002. 

Coffee Roasters. Photo by John Seymour, Forgotten Household Crafts . 1987. 

Dry Good Storage Counter in the Carlson-Russ General Store, Midway Village. 
Rockford, Illinois. Photo by Kenny Roberts. 8 December 2002. 

E. T. Russ, Rockford Illinois. South Tenth Street enterance. Photographer unknown. 
Acquired from Vie Carlson's scrapbook. Date unknown. 

Gertrude Russ & Uncle on Horse, Rockford Illinois. South Tenth Street enterance. 

Photographer unknown. Acquired from Vie Carlson's scrapbook. Date unknown. 

Ironbrew Bottling Works, Rockford Illinois. In front of E.T. Russ. Photographer unknown. 
Acquired from Vie Carlson's scrapbook. Date unknown. 

Johnson, Lawrence A., Over the Counter and On the Shelf , Bonanza Books, NY. 1961, 
Loc 61-6491. pg 100 



Kopp- 1 1 

Letterhead. Written by Earl Tarbox Russ. Acquired from Vie Carlson's scrapbook. Date 
unknown. 

Postmen. Photographer unknown. Rockford Morning Star. 6 October 1949 

Post Office Drawing. Photographer unknown. Pioneer town, Rockford Public School 
Press. 1938. 

Post Office in the Carlson-Russ General Store, Midway Village. Rockford, Illinois. 
Photo by Kenny Roberts. 8 December 2002. 

Sears Roebuck, 1902, Crown Pub. ISBN 0-517-009226 

Store Drawing. Photographer unknown. Tool & Trades of America's Past . 1981 



i 



i 



Kopp- 



'* When Rockiord Entertained-Letter. Carriers In '98 




Mail carriers in this photograph posed for a picture in 1898 (Postmen photo). 




The Carlson-Russ general store's Post Office (Post photo). 



Kopp- 




This is a drawing of a Post Office from the 1800s (Post office drawing photo). 




This is a drawing of a store from the 1800s (store drawing photo). 



BJH4, PHCMt, m*iw tacts 



Kopp- 



E. T, R U 5 S 

mtrwutfnu ns? 
17w Tenth Strewt Oenvrnl Mervhur.dium Sic-re 

4££ TENTH 3THEET ; / 

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This is a part of a hand written letter from Earl to Gertrude and Charlotte (Letterhead photo). 



- 



Kopp- 



874: SEARS, ROEBUCK & CO.. Cheapest Supply House on Earth. Chicago. CATALOGUE No. III. 





Favorite* Coffea Mill 

v«- 118B01 Iilwl f or- 
,,,<t U. rr .i Kill wllh 
klaredcorer. bardwwd bui, 
lo^atallid .-i-irnaja. hJrolT 
ovllab.d sad ooaarad wlcb 
teat gup.l T.r ul.li, 

kpinned Iron. patent mc-- 
, W[ tad Improved grind- 
ing burr ti.ai will tiioi' 

Mic^lr pnir*rlsa cnrr*e 
«ben desired. Six* of bor. 
<H«S« India*. 

.310 

A h«imoi uopDerupenTop 
Will. hardwood bar, aore- 
' 'tailed cornera. hlgalr 
polls oeo *r.d ooTar**: srita 
[>*•( «»p»l rirnlih, 
Jeuasiued Iron, patent regu- 
lator and Inpro red grinding 

burr. 

Ho. J.SRO10 9l»ofbor. 

this* lac be*. Eacn_...t»o 

No. *3R«1S Sl.«o(bor. 
*»ai3K luc:jcj. C*cb M. 

Our I8-Oont Corfo* 

Mill. 
KO.JJR9I8 Coffee Ulll. 
•m.» «^J box. titllk 

k.. Lev J» ^uu.tl lruu. 
fr.C«. rich ISO 

Our 20-Cent Sldo 
Cofloe Mill. 



No !!5Rt>*« SldeHin. 
tuuilmwd l*>**.i. pvl- 

isliad and TnmLsa&d. 
Uvb Japuui^, rnedloxo, 
alia. 

PrlCft, * B." li 3 tfO 






Ko. aaRoaa riatiooej 
Chqtm siiu. n aim ad la 
red. black or wine color 
with gold etrlpiog, eo4 
decorated Iron o op per. 
Oipaci'y, IK poinds of 
coircf. Tills U tlifl meat 
pcoulu cotiuwr mill (or 
xiocwj .tores. bot*lt.el£. 
'« «ja«.iLtT tbsy tit nnrlrir to uf mill! on tu "I' 1 grind 2 pouads of 
OJrtiat. Krerdlaaa of price. TU»f hare ail tba ■ COffea^r raJaute^tD^ £»tt 



National CoffM Mill*. 
Oar iiaa ( K.tioHil Oetrw Kills U nuamao- 
^m^ for u by •■• of the v Id*, t aad west reliable 
r°"«»l UUi alaae of gowda In tba Halted Stase*. 



National Coff«a Mllla 

No. l!R«tl National ColTa. 

miu. Baadaoaualy oniabod land 
&nn gold wiib dncori ted Iron hop- 
par holding " poands of coffee. 
Uliv, taCbsM blgh; aywbsolsero 

iai i oot os la diameter. Will 
jr.sd 1 pound of corfee per 
minute. Sblppiog w.Ubt. Tl 
pounds. Fully srtmun*! 

Price, aieb sJg.OO 

No. >3R«aa national Oaffaa 

dun. smg u .to. asw. but 
larger. Sad Led gold unist. d*cc~ 
rated lroa bopper bold) or 1 

[ootids 0TCC7M. UelffBt. £811 Isobea: dutoHterofaj 
wheels. KH Inches, will grind IK pnonris nl rjaffrw 
per ulanw Ou bo retruletcd. *o grind coarse or 
Mr.« wolls ruDDint. Snipping weiiiou so pounds 
Fully warrencad. Price, each SJ..O0 

No. ISf)0<a Katlaoal Ootfaa , 
Mill. riQOIr OulaUeil la *srtall- 
Inn irxl fnld vita tvkcr oletel 
pla-bad briii boppar holding lh 
poutnls of ouQ'tsa. Tlilj ulll 
It tin InrhM hire tu un-lorn 
fir wooola. Ormsa 1 pooDd of 
COtTtro par mlauto. Sblpploa 
»»lgnt, <S piiundi. WirilllHI 

Pnce. CO.C0 »8.*0 

>o. JSR»<10 NaUouiU OvOVo 

him. ni» «« Nil nuita not 
Urror. PlaUbod In rarnUloa 
aaa jTOlil 1a Ibe bcab pcaalOlo 
miner: hu nlrLi.l platad antln 
braaa boppor boldlas; £11 pouada of ooffeo. HaLcbt, 
Ji'iacCej: dlUL-eur <)( JT wooeli, UH luchea- Oau 
ba ragulatad to grind coana or fins arillfl rocniiig 
Orlods 1 H pounds of cotfoo par mlouco. Shipping 
weicbt. sponQdj. Vila nimcien 
Pr1co,*ach ■10.BO 



SP 



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i»*» » tTic-o,o*cn.in i 

iidor-n' CortfBcrewa. 

I cuaiSa of baac aaMUty mu 
applevoodbaodlos. Spool 



taal. nUk 
pocJal .bap. 

ilrarln* UirousL Ui« c<x 




CorkocrowG. 
Xo. S3K1UBU Foldlor Gark. 
"»". nlcalr polbhad. Walght, 

e./uacea. Prlco, oaoli _.0o 

No. taRlom rock at Cork. 
\Ji aarat*. Sacti la ai«kal mh, 
41 caao aaiTlug aa UAadla, atuctl It 

W"-«tm»5 ?t,i.bt.2ca. I»rloo,<«b,l»o No.BI)l 
Tv. BdrtoiHierrj ~ 
/Numiii •<-» ou«Ja 
£><+L Poiiab*, ipp,,, 
K3 whica prorcut.1 
* ,T *Taer«w caaiad. 

No. 9SR10BS EaalaX uj,d,l, 
oparacad hrvif a.ar owla Thr. 
lorna aoraw It Into ULTraaC earl. 
fipaclal thapa una. It Km no oqtu 
Uall bo/a ajjd nallors rrojinxooud U) 

•creir. 

Price, aicb. %-j 

»•■ »aRie»1 Salf 
rullnf (Jortcxraw. 

Ra^lnlraa no palling 
T'laea lb« ™d aul 

JS.'S"; •"> '«"■»> I ♦ for Uiaaiiiallul 
fJJJWo draw tbe >«d. n c» wl u, 

ulu *»»ir. Pnca. 6»CH I3a 

,^t*3rUiJ»0 ConDloallii 
K*3»C Foak.t (1 3 rti«r.» .»<i 
"^yto«.,. Mad, oQU«ly of 
^ baarllr nln.i pl»c»0 UK1 




baarllr 




Tii.r 
~'~" 1 naproramaoUB id n:ocha.nli;aJ t^jurwrucUOQ, 
* iIjo roost naanLlfnl In dMlgn and moat hand- 
~*air latioad- Thoj' aro fast grinders and aasr 

^° ,r » ». gaanuitaa la.a 19 b-a aUioUr Or»t 
~^~* m r— larlal and la workcnaanalilp and In 
^T' 31 "' o.pasltraqnaJ to othor miko) of mill! of 
^"•0000:1,, hum ronrdless «( erica. You " 




^^^Utld Lad ratom vonr taoaoy." Ut* aoaaparLng 
l« £"*** 7»« will And that tnaaa «ullU »Uloo.t 
*^^ ^^ 2 3 C* d0 p»r mdc laas thaa anr atbar 
ii^,! V ""U- ot aoaaJ aapaaltr. Wo ablp all iUm 
«*4 1 i. ** .oar fainory In IlllnoU. noar Cnlcasru. 
U4 ►.__.*!"' ao oot har« tha aspansa of htnilllnr 
»*^ .^ ... nr > **d do fre'-ubt ob&rgaa to paf wo ou 





does tba worn parfoctlr. B 
roatlng felciujK ou oj^e ,- 
bottle ockcs: and uainr tt 
hand]* as a U*ar thaiiardcj 
cork can :.^j OAU-ftctad rtt 
base, 'lalua DD oo mum roar 
Lanarth, eloaad, ll< Incaa, 
*>. 



baragulatad to gnnd Boa 
or coarso wnllo mnning. 
dolsacavv lacbes:diamt>- 
tar of flr sroaala. £8 Incbas. 
Sliluplag aalgbt, 164 
pooDda. 

Prlca.aash •!«.*• 

S'o.X3R»a« KaUoaaJ OnoTaa KUX Samaitiieu 

No. aHirn mi. 1. out si 1 ib bMTtly alcKil plaiea Bona 

brua hoppar. fiaUnc* of ulll flottnad la r*d, black, 
or wlno uolur allb gold strlplof Dopper holds 5> 
p.H»na» and vui gnnd : pouadi or cocroa per 
toinala. Easily ragalatad to grind not or coars* 
wnllaruunliii;. Uolfc^u J^H Iiicbo* . dlanttiner of flr 



National Floor Mllla. 



IH£" r>oi-lr«l Unlfe 

• r «kkt,iOttnoot. Prlco.rmli. 

Cork Puller*. 
- yiRMW Ttio Ho. ■ Uodvru 
. •S r «"«r. Oan 1M attsu-hari tn 
a"terlg htaarltc uulcii box. 
""Swo* or wall. U alaa/i 

j?j_i?r. n ii* " lJl ""■"■ d ~* 
""rsrlth all anoofanoo la draw- 
"JlbrliSi polls anr curk In oan 
•~*i. Itlaitoall ana raimnart, 
JMjitaw loaa. and la a groa, orna- 

"•aJclcal Maud. A thort. tit. 

"« tDOTsroent of too Landlo 

„2? to * corlcscrow ur rrorta 10 

"*•» t«to lAs cork, and muhlnr 

f22Sf di " <i< " r, * • lrt r»«" tbe cork 

"2»ba bottle, aatce moracMOl 

r ^st*xatl causes Lb* mrkscrew t3 

f^JJautof th*«xtractod cork which b ao torn sac- 

■ iiJ^aatged buui tae njichlne. ll reoulrea kai 

u 2 ia "* ,r ano oparaUon li laatantuaous. 




cabs, each. 



tanclon la nllH 




1*0 US. 
■•••• IU] 

No. sattiaaa no. 1 sio*rTi 

Cork Pnllar, Inr.M la •alaaas, 

raaaa.ura.nte.eod* * '-- pgg. 

This macltLne is cltxnpao br • 
thumbscrew to a bar. countajor 
abolf. I| la ldc.ot.cai wlta ih* 
Ho. utUOM machlaa oxoepl lilts 
rnathrwl of auaehmeD c uid asWr 
a thrvrrtuali coat baa wotcl. aoi 



This is what a page from the 1902 Edition of the Sears Roebuck 
catalog looks like (Sears Roebuck photo) 



Je iw I .OffH Mill 




Corwi Roasteas 

and Mills 

A i tnfin becamg mart 
poli,iJar, ,i ukV* «-aii«j B J 

•VJ'kJ Ojxi.-iif,! rodtiA, 
-.Wlr.lij,u«lf.^/ 1 -,YJ. 

"fJii-Jlilr .'Oli r Xj;Y'i UVt*- 

ievttofcdfa, riAJKin; 

"Hjjr IiS, roo.^JK....! 
""'*« PomiiJ in a mJJ 

tinfj' c/i/ fl .„,,,,/ ..Mj'y,, 



Coffee roasters back in the 1800s (coffee roasters photo) 



The Labor Temple Carpenters 792 




Photographer (Manuel Bravo) Dec. 2002 Entry to The Labor Temple 



Manuel Bravo 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Manuel Bravo 

English 101 

21 November 2002 

The Labor Temple 

It was young and only had a temporary home. The building at 402 E. 
State Street was its provisional quarters. Slowly it was growing stronger through 
the years that passed. Some refused it; some received it gladly, while others 
stayed skeptical. Carpenter's Local 792 was here to stay and looking for a 
permanent home (Anderson interview). 

It was the early 1940s and the United States was preparing for World War 
Two. New buildings were to be built at Camp Grant in Rockford, which is now 
the Greater Rockford Airport. Carpenters from other local unions (travelers) 
came to work in Rockford, because of the work that Camp Grant was producing. 
Along with union dues, the travelers were required to pay for a "permit", in order 
to work in Rockford. The carpenters of Local 792 took advantage of the 
increased money from dues and decided to build their permanent home 
(Anderson, A History of ...). 

In 1926, Carpenter's Local 792 bought a lot on South First Street. To help 
financially, Local 792 members bought shares, which were never cashed in. The 
following year, plans were made to build the carpenters building, but 
construction of the building did not happen until July of 1941. The general 
contractor for the building was Gus Larson and Sons and the architect was 
Reyner Eastman. The approximate total cost for the building was $65,000. 
Since the funds were escalating due to the increase of Local 792 members, 



Bravo - 2 
Carpenter's Local 792 was able to pay for its new home in full without bank 
loans. The building was done and the carpenters had their permanent home. 
The Labor Temple was the name of the building also called the Carpenters 
Building. On April 4, 1942 the Labor Temple had its dedication ceremony 
(Anderson, A History of . ..). 

The Carpenters Labor Temple is a building in the heart of Rockford. It 
stands as a symbol of what union carpenters believe: fair wages, insurance, 
pension, and good working conditions. It is over half a century old, and still as 
strong as ever with all the necessities of a modern office building. The original 
exterior structure that holds the building intact has remained strong through the 
years. It is made up of brick on the outside and clay tile for backup. The 
exterior walls have no wood studs or drywall in them. The plaster was put 
directly on the clay tiles giving it a finished look. The 2x4-floor joists have fire 
cuts as they sit on the clay tile. A fire cut means that the top of the joist ends are 
cut off at an angle, leaving only the bottom portion of the joist that sits on the 
clay blocks. The purpose of this cut is in case if there is ever a fire, the burning 
joist will fall into the building without taking the exterior walls with them 
(Anderson interview). 

The two-story building was built with five meeting halls, plenty of offices, 
and a modern kitchen. Later, as the years passed, The Labor Temple went 
through some changes. On the first floor, meeting rooms where turned into 
offices. 



Bravo - 3 
Upstairs a couple of meeting rooms and offices were turned into a larger 
meeting room. The latest renovation was done last year. Ringling Johnson 
Construction Company was the contractor. The Labor Temple had all its 
windows replaced. "New windows were reinstalled in the front where they had 
been bricked up in the past," says Jack Burton, a 792 member for 30 years. A 
new metal nameplate was installed in the front entrance. The old nameplate was 
rusted out and eventually was taken down a long time ago. Lights were added 
in the front, above the entrance where the big round glass blocks are. The 
Labor Temple stands out at night when the lights are on (Anderson interview). 

When the Labor Temple was first built, other trades resided there, too. 
Through the years, the Carpenters Building has been the quarters to all the 
other local union building trades, except for the Laborers Union. Although the 
Laborers Union never rented an office at the Carpenter's Building, they still had 
their monthly meetings there. It has gone through many residents since 1942 
and only accommodates two other building trades now, besides local carpenters 
(Anderson interview). 

Leroy Anderson recalls when there were Christmas parties held in the 
basement where the kitchen and dining rooms are. He remembers teaching 
apprentice classes in the basement in the late 1960s. Then, in 1968, the 
apprenticeship program moved to East High School, due to the fact that there 
was not enough room in the basement of the Carpenters Building (Anderson 
interview). 



; 



i 



Bravo - 4 
The Carpenter's Labor Temple is not just an office building. It is the place 
where carpenters unite, discuss their troubles, and resolve them if possible. As 
Tom Rose put it " I'm proud to be a union carpenter." Union carpenters believe 
in doing professional work, organized labor to better themselves, as well as 
helping our community. The Carpenters Labor Temple is a symbol of those 
beliefs that this writer and other union carpenters try to live by. 




fippre^hce- flakes ,'yy tie ba<_;«i^cMvl- <jr 






Cw\.<0\it~ 










\ 



/^eww k * C/a 55 £ s '« Uc A Ue U U r T* ^L 




Oae.. i'i<^5" 



Cu/pViWr tads diSplcy L c*r ( %? r^+.^C ''Atfes 






£1 



/^ 







* 



Works Cited 

Anderson, Leroy C. A History of : Carpenter's Local 792 
100 Years 1901-2001 Carpenter's local 792. 2001. 



Anderson, Leroy C. Personal interview. 8 October 2002. 
Bravo, Manuel. Personal experience. 
Burton, Jack. Phone interview. 25 November 2002. 
Rose, Tom. Phone interview. 24 November 2002. 









The Life of the Chamberlain Hotel 

Shayna Dye 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



ili;l 



Dye 1 



Shayna Dye 
English 101 NC 
23 November 2002 



The Life of the Chamberlain Hotel 



The Chamberlain Hotel has served many purposes since the 1 800s. Its many uses have 
affected thousands of Americans for the past two hundred years. It went from a destination spot 
for travelers, to a major tourist site in Rockford, IL. The Chamberlain Hotel's interesting story is 
one that is worth listening to. 

In the 1850s, Caledonia, Illinois was becoming a very busy junction. The Northwestern 
Railway was just built and it completed the Kenosha line. It opened vast new regions of the 
United States to travelers, salesmen en route, and performers trying to get to the Old Theater 
Palace in Chicago(Wilson). 

Before 1853, everyone riding the trains had to supply their own food. In that year, the 
Baltimore and Ohio trains set up a bench and table and served food to passengers before the train 
departed. The food was terrible. Not only that, but the service was so rude and rushed that most 
passengers dreaded meal stops. Many complained and wanted things to change. No one did 
anything until Fred Harvey came along(Holbrook no page). 

Fred Harvey was one of the first people to realize something needed to be done about the 
food service problem. He decided he would open his own restaurant. It was called the Harvey 
House and it featured good food, civilized service and a clean, elegant atmosphere(Holden 47). 

It proved to be very popular with the travelers. He hired waiters and started to realize 
that men as waiters were rough and less appealing. He wanted young women of good character 



ll 



Dye 2 

to start waitressing at his restaurant. He put out ads and, before he knew it, he was receiving 
incredible responses. The waitresses became famous among travelers and were soon recognized 
as "The Harvey Girls"(Holden 48). 

Although the food problem diminished, lodging still seemed to be an issue. At this time, 
William Gilkerson and R.H. Emerson had just purchased land in the Caledonia Center. They 
decided to build a hotel in the 1860s. They did not turn it into a business because their job was 
strictly construction. A few years passed and they met a wonderful young lady named Pamelia 
Montanye. They deeded the house over to her and her husband John D. Montayne and shortly 
after it became known as the Montanye House(Botkin 34). 

The Montanye House tried to solve the problem of both food service and lodging in one. 
John D.'s brother Robert De la Montanye was in the Boone- Winnebago County area at the time 
and came to help get business going. Robert already had experience, since he and his wife Polly 
had been in the hotel business in Promptin, PA. ("John D. Montanye"). 

John and Permilia's three children were raised in the hotel. When they got to age thirteen 
they helped their parents work. Indie, the youngest girl, helped her mother with the cooking. 
Their son, Newton, helped his father with the labor work("John D. Montanye"). 

By the 1880s, the Montanye House was not everything they had hoped it would be. The 
family decided to start a business in Harvard, IL. Their son stayed with them to help and their 
daughter, Eliza, came to take over Indie's job. The Montanye family still wanted to keep a good 
business around to keep the people happy("John D. Montanye"). 

Even though the Harvey House was around, it only provided the people with good food 
and service. However, it did not provide them with a place to rest after a long day of traveling. It 
was also at an inconvenient location for the people riding the trains. Since the trains were how 



Dye 3 

most people got around, it was important to have a restaurant close by where the trains 
stopped(Holden 48). 

On December 1 878, the Montanye family met a lady who was interested in purchasing 
their hotel. Her name was Catherine Chamberlain. She was willing to provide good food, 
service, and a place to rest. Since the Montanye House was already at a convenient location, she 
knew business would surely be booming. The Montanye family thought it would be a wonderful 
idea and sold the hotel to Catherine. It then became known as the Chamberlain Hotel("John D. 
Montanye") 

Catherine Lang (Lang was her maiden name) was born in Campelltown, Scotland on 
March 12, 1838. She was the daughter of Angus O'Laynachens. Her father was a Celt and the 
O'Laynachens were members of the Donald Clan. She also had a brother, Colin Lang, who came 
to Marietta, Ohio in 1853 and was a blacksmith and woodworker by trade. He moved to 
Caledonia after the Civil War. Catherine also had a sister Kate who burned to death and whom 
she was named after. She also had two other sisters, Mary and Margret(Ralston no page). 

In 1 856 at the age of 1 8, Catherine and her sister Mary came to the United States and 
joined their brother Colin in Marietta. In 1 858, Catherine went on to work as a "domestic" in the 
home of Judge Jackson in Parkesburg, West Virginia. Although a supporter of the Union, Judge 
Jackson was the cousin of Stonewall Jackson, the great Confederate Soldier. Catherine remained 
with the Jacksons through the Civil War, then she and her sister followed their brother to 
Caledonia(Ralston no page). 

In 1 874, Catherine married William Chamberlain. They had two children, Margare, born 
in 1875, and Katie, born in 1877. Only two years after Katie was born, Catherine purchased the 
hotel from the Montanye family(Ralston no page). 



Dye 4 

Catherine wanted the Chamberlain Hotel to be a success. She was a very hard worker, 
tough on the job, and she could serve a fine meal in a short amount of time. She treated everyone 
at the hotel "fair and square"(Ralston no page). Some of Catherine's favorite recipes 
werereggless, milkless, butterless cake; chocolate chip frozen custard, and popovers that 
pop(Carlson E2-8). 

Catherine had rhubarb in her yard which she used in pies and for rhubarb wine. She would 
serve it on Sunday afternoons. It was part of a tradition where everyone would come and sit 
around the parlor and talk while drinking rhubarb wine and eating custard(Ralston no page). 

In 1904, Teddy Roosevelt was said to have stopped at the hotel for a bite to eat. All of 
the customers offered to buy him food and drinks, but he did not accept any offers. He was very 
thankful but rushed out in a hurry to Chicago for an important meeting(Morall Interview). 

In 1910, William Chamberlain started a parlor downstairs. He charged only two dollars 
for an average haircut. They also did all of the voting downstairs. If any problems arose, the 
town would hold a meeting and vote. In one instance, an alcoholic was causing many problems in 
town. So, everyone got together at the hotel and decided to vote the town dry. This meant no 
alcoholic beverages were to be sold or brought into the town of Caledonia(Morall Interview). 

As the years passed by, the people still made frequent stops at the hotel. In 1929, 
Catherine became ill. On March 22, 1 929, Catherine Chamberlain passed away at age ninety 
one(Ralston no page). Before she died, she told her daughter Katie these words: "When I pass 
away, you and your sister Maggie will run the hotel." So that is exactly what happened(Morall 
Interview). 

After Catherines death, Katie and Maggie took over the hotel. Things went well for the 
sisters. Everyone came for their fantastic home cooked meals and friendly hospitality. The 



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Dye 5 

railroad men would telegraph ahead to Katie and tell her how many men were coming for dinner. 
She was ready for them day or night. She could prepare and serve as many as fifty people at a 
serving. Some of their most famous meals were: thick beefsteaks, prairie chicken breast, real 
buckwheat cakes, and pure maple syrup. For the nights lodging and a good meal, it cost only two 
dollars a day(Holbrook no page). 

Their home cooked meals were well-known by everyone who stopped there. During the 
summertime, an Italian couple from Chicago stayed there every weekend. They would look in the 
nearby woods for mushrooms. It was heard that they would go back to Chicago and tell their 
friends what a fantastic place to stay it was( Wilson). 

In 1963, things started to fall apart. Maggie became ill and torn apart by age. Katie knew 
she could not run the hotel any longer. So she closed down the hotel for business and took care 
of her sister. In the time that they spent together, Maggie told Katie where a special gift had been 
placed for this moment. Katie stayed by her side until she died. Maggie Chamberlain died at age 
eighty- eight(Morall Interview). 

Katie was devastated and heartbroken. She remained living in the hotel by herself. A few 
days after Maggie died, she looked behind the dresser, where Maggie told her to look, and found 
a little box. Inside she found all of the precious jewels her sister had once cherished. It was 
something Katie could have to remember Maggie by forever(Morall Interview). 

Although Katie lived alone, she still managed to have visitors quite often. Even the cats in 
the neighborhood seemed to find their way to her house. In fact, she had so many cats at one 
point, she actually killed them by feeding them poison, and then she stuffed them in cans and 
buried them all over her yard. It is not something she likes to remember because she was not the 
type to kill an animal(Morall Interview). 



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Dye 6 

Not only would cats stop by, but her neighbors and friends as well. They usually came 
over to drink tea and talk about what was going on in the world. One of her best friends, Doris 
Morall, says, "When I scolded my children and sent them to their room, they always snuck out 
and made their way over to Katie's house. It watched them through my window trying to sneak 
back in. I caught them every time." Everyone knew and loved Katie and she was a wonderful 
woman to the town(Morall Interview). 

In 1970, Katie moved to the Maple Crest Nursing Home. The hotel was sold to Mark 
Grenlund for $7,400. He owned the grain elevator and farm business adjacent to the 
hotel(Moorhead 34). Katie was old and her body was weak. She spoke her last words to the 
nurse the night before her death and said to tell Doris Morall where the recipes were in her house 
so she could keep them going(Morall Interview). 

After Mr. Grenlund purchased the hotel, he auctioned everything with the hotel. These 
items included; kitchenware, linens, pictures, glassware, and many others. Everyone came to 
watch and bid. After the auction, the hotel was never used. It quickly went into disrepair. Half 
of the windows had lost their panes. Shingles were missing from the weather-beaten old roof. A 
half detached second-story gutter swung crazily in the wind. The front entrance was perpetually 
open. An empty door frame leaned across the entrance at a rakish angle. Weeds and scraggly 
branches scraped against the fading paint. There was something that needed to be done(Carlson 
E2-8). 

Mr Grenlund offered it to the Boone County Bicentennial Commission if they would move 
it to where it could be renovated and restored as a historical landmark. Due to lack of sufficient 
funds for the project, the commission voted to refuse the offer. So Winnebago County moved it 
to the Midway Village and Museum Center on Guilford Rd in Rockford(Moorhead 34) 



Dye 7 

In January of 1984, the first stages of construction were started at the Midway Village. 
There is not much information on the initial construction of the Chamberlain Hotel, but there are 
pictures of the stages at the end of this essay(Robinson interview). 

The hotel that was rebuilt at the Midway Village was dedicated to a man named Goerge 
William Taylor. The hotel at the village is only a replica. The parlor doors, staircase spindles, 
and the newel post came from the original Chamberlain Hotel(Robinson interview). 

The Chamberlain Hotel is a landmark that will be remembered throughout history. There 
are so many memories of it in the hearts of Americans. Its many uses and wonderful story is one 
that should be passed on for generations. 



Works Cited 

Botkin, A.B., Railroad Folklore, Bonanza Books, 1953. 

Carlson, Leona, The Chamberlain Hotels Past. The Rockford Register Star. 1970. 

Holbrook, Stewart, Story of American Railways. Crown Publishers, NY, 1981, ISBN. 

Holden, Jan, North Western Lines. Pamphlet, 1996. 

"John D. Montayne (1821-1892) and his Wife Permilia Brown" Rockford IL, Midway 

Village and Musuem Center. CA. 1980. 
Katie and Maggie Chamberlain. Photographer unknown. Midway Village and Museum 

Center. Date unknown. 
Katie Chamberlain. Photographer unknown. Midway Village and Museum Center. Date 

unknown. 
Moorhead, Virginia B. Boone County Then and Now . Boone County, 1835-1976. 
Morall, Doris. Personal interview. 6 October 2002. 
Mrs. Chamberlain, Katie and pet cat on porch of Chamberlain Hotel. Photographer 

unknown. Midway Village and Museum Center. 1910. 
Oberg,David. Personal interview. 26 September 2002. 

Ralston, Carl T. Auntie Kate Chamberlain. Rockford, IL, Self Published. Feb. 1984. 
Robinson, Ros. Personal interview. 10 December 2002. 
Stages of Construction. Photographer unknown. Midway Village and Museum Center. 

January 1984. 
Wilson, Goerge. "Caledonia was Bustling" Belvidere Daily Republican, no page. 



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The Church by the Side of the Road 

Hollie Dyer 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 



Fall 2002 



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Hollie Dyer 
Archival Essay 
English 101, NC 



The Church by the Side of the Road 



Back in 1964, there was a church named The Church by the Side of the 
Road. This was a church with no specific denomination which was different from 
many churches that had a determined congregation. People from all over the 
world have come to visit the church to be christened, wed and reminisce on the 
past. 

The Church by the Side of the Road was located in Rockton, IL on 
Blackhawk Boulevard next to the old Wagon Wheel. The church was a very 
popular place, once the construction was finished and everyone could enjoy it. 
The church had a very large impression on people that attended any kind of 
service. It was a huge part of the Wagon Wheel Lodge which made the town of 
Rockton known so well throughout the country and even the world ("Memories"). 

The Wagon Wheel Lodge was a very impressive place for the 
townspeople of Rockton and many people all over the country. The Wagon 
Wheel was a main attraction for many people after being built in 1936. When the 
Wagon Wheel was first built, it was intended for a gas station and a small seven- 
stool hamburger stand. After the building of the Wagon Wheel Lodge there were 
many additions made to fill the 314 acres. All of these additions helped with 
profits for the business. 















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Dyer-2 

There was an ice skating rink built in 1 958 that soon became famous. 
This rink was the practice rink for Janet Lynn and Scott Hamilton, Olympian 
skaters. Along with the skating rink there was also a bowling alley, seven 
specialty shops, a 35-acre lake, a miniature train, two-run ski hill, dinner theater 
and tennis building. There was also an air strip, golf course, two swimming 
pools, restaurant, private club, and a hotel that were all eventually added on to 
the Wagon Wheel Lodge. All of the extra materials that actually decorated the 
Lodge were furnished of old antiques from all over the world ("Landmark"). 

After the building of all of the additions to the Wagon Wheel, Walt 
Williamson, the builder himself, had a very large downfall in his life. Walt's 
mother, Lena Williamson passed away. Legends say that there were no plans of 
the church to begin with, but Walt had been thinking of building a church for a 
lifetime ("Memories"). His dream was finally going to become a reality and when 
it did, he was going to dedicate the church to his mother ("Wagon Wheel 
Chronology"). 

The Church by the Side of the Road, which was erected by Walt 
Williamson, was known to be the first resort chapel in the country ("Memories"). 
The people of the town of Rockton were fascinated with the church being built. 
People today still have many memories of the church either through weddings, 
baptisms, or other special occasions that had taken place (Bates). 

Walt Williamson was the decision maker of the church being non- 
denominational which has now changed terminology to interdenominational. The 
church being maintained by a business establishment, the offerings going to help 



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maintain the church and the fact of everyone wanting a quickie wedding chapel 
seemed to be all great reasons for the church to be erected (Bates). 

The chapel became very popular the year it was built, 1964, and all the 
years following. During the building process of the church, Walt and a few other 
people built the church out of historic pieces from other churches in different 
parts of the world such as America, China, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, and the 
following religions had helped as well: Greek, Catholics, and Jews. There were 
different kinds of decorations added to the church, such as the white, beautiful 
angels that sit along both sides of the alter or the Angel Gabriel pieces that fill 
space on the walls above the organ and above the door of the entrance to the 
chapel. Ever since the church had been built, everything is original except for the 
new roof and air conditioning (Bates). 

By 1964, the construction of Church by the Side of the Road was finished 
and church had already started intriguing many people to come and visit. Many 
weddings, baptisms, renewing of vows, and other occasions as well took place in 
the church. In addition to all of these other events, Sunday services were also 
available for anyone with any denomination to attend (Gehrand). 

Although the Wagon Wheel Resort has been demolished by a fire, it does 
not mean that the Church by the Side of the Road has died right along with it 
("Wagon"). The church is going strong as ever and there are just as many 
events now as there has been in the past. 

There are many things that are in, on, and around the church that are the 
same now as they were when the church was first built in 1964. To start with, the 



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Church by the Side of the Road is not parallel to any of its surroundings. Walt 
Williamson had the church put in that position for a purpose (Wheldon). "Walt's 
reasoning behind this decision was very wise and logical," says the writer. His 
reasoning for this action was because the church was being built in a Hickory 
Grove, and he did not want any more trees than necessary cut down to place this 
church. This adds on to the character of The Church by the Side of the Road. 
This church was also known to be the only church owned, controlled, and 
supported by a resort (The Wagon Wheel Resort). Along with the location of the 
church, the materials used to build the 19 th century-looking church are also the 
same now as they were when the church was first built (Whedon). 

The materials for the building of the Church by the Side of the Road were 
all gathered from many different places. To begin with, the outside walls of the 
church were not sided or painted. All of the outside walls were constructed of 
old, wood siding from a tobacco shed. The windows in the church were, and still 
are, stained glass (Bates). Some of them came from churches such as, Trinity 
Lutheran Churches in Elgin and Rockford, IL, and some of the windows, such as 
the rose window behind the alter and the side windows on the church, are from 
the Methodist Church located in Janesville, Wl. When walking in front of the 
church the bright red doors can not be missed. Those doors are also from the 
same Trinity Lutheran Church as the windows ("The Church"). 

The ceiling beams were a very important part of the church as well. 
These beams are made of railroad bridge trestles and railroad ties ("The 
Church"). They are there not only to hold the sides and ceiling up, but to create a 









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Dyer-5 

little older, more fashionable, look to the church. These beams were collected 
and built into the church by Walt Williamson himself (Wheldon). 

Along with all of the resources used for the inside of the church, there 
were also the very old pews that needed to be added to the church. These pews 
were one hundred twenty-five years old when Walt gathered and placed them in 
the church. They were exactly what Walt was looking for. These old pews were 
added to try to keep the older look of the church. He found these pews in 
Brodhead, Wl and gathered and brought them back to the church. These pews 
ended up being very special to the family of Jesse James. Under one of the 
pews right this very day are the initials, J.J., which is for Jesse James from one 
time that he visited The Church by the Side of the Road with his family. His 
family used to sit in the pews every Sunday for worship service. These pews are 
now even older, but still going strong and still able to hold everyone that decides 
to attend a church service or some other event ("The Church"). 

Last, but not least, are the lights in the church. They are very old. They 
are called Amber lamps. They were found in a false wall in the Old Nelson Hotel 
in Rockford, IL ("The Church"). These lights are the only source of light in the 
church's chapel other than the Christmas lights that line the alter and the 
communion railing and the natural sun light that shines through the stained glass 
windows to help light the church. 

The purposes of The Church by the Side of the Road still remain the 
same, although the church being famous for weddings was a little bit of an 
unexpected purpose. The main purpose of the church was intended for Sunday 






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Dyer-6 

worship services. There have been two memorials, but there still has never been 
an actual funeral at the church (Wheldon). 

From when the church was first built, people remember the Church by the 
Side of the Road for the canaries. There are still canaries in the church, but they 
are all newer birds. Many people still say that the only thing that breaks the 
silence in the sanctuary is the canaries. One of the canaries talks like a parrot 
(Bates). 

The feelings of the people that attend the church have not really changed. 
The idea of the church being interdenominational, which is where there is no 
determined religion at all throughout the church, is still approved by many people. 
For that reason there are still people that attend the church today that were going 
years ago when it was first built (Bates). Another great thing that people in the 
community and the people that attend the church like is that the church is small, 
so it makes it easier to get to know everyone and talk with people (Wheldon). 
Just like Clark Wheldon said, "We take about ten minutes every Sunday to just 
walk around and talk to people. I think that is what I really enjoy the most about 
Sunday services. There are no strangers in the church, but maybe a few 
newcomers every once in a while. I have been going there since it was built and 
I always plan on going" (Wheldon). 

Along with the similarities in the materials used for the church there are 
also a few things that have changed throughout the years. The first thing that is 
likely be recognized when going to a church is a large bell in a steeple on top of a 
church. There was a bell when the church was first built, but the bell was stolen 






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Dyer-7 

right out of the steeple when the church was vacant for a short time. The original 
bell was a twenty-four inch, bronze bell from Scotland and was worth sixty dollars 
a pound at the time. That bell was made of bronze which was the best anyone 
could get (Bates). The bell was worth much more than many of the other little 
things that went into, on, or around the church. No one knows exactly how 
anyone could steal such a huge object at the top of the roof of the church, but it 
was obviously manageable because it was done (Bates). 

The roofing of the church is another material object that is not the same as 
when the church was first built. The roof was fixed and re-shingled not long ago, 
due to bad weather conditions. The roof started to miss shingles and it also 
started to leak inside of the church (Wheldon). 

The carpet in the chapel is still the original carpet that was first put into the 
chapel when it was built. The carpet through the entrance way, however, wore 
down and had to be replaced with new carpet (Bates). 

Some of the decorations throughout the church have been changed or 
even just been added to the originals. The Angel Gabriels that are hung over the 
organ and the front door of the chapel are a couple of the newer decorations in 
the church. There are some very old theater chairs that were brought back from 
Missouri that now take up some space in the basement (Bates). They do come 
in handy on busy days for the church. 

The basement of the church was not originally finished (remodeled) for 
people to use. Now that the new owners have come into the church, they have 
fixed up the basement for the comfort of the visitors. When all of the seats in the 



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Dyer-8 

chapel are full, then visitors can go to the basement and listen to the service 
through speakers that have been put down there for that special purpose (Bates). 

The plumbing of the church has changed a bit in the years. The plumbing 
used to be primitive, but it is now modernized and everything works just like 
plumbing in a modern home (Bates). 

The Church by the Side of the Road is a very special and unique place. 
Weddings, baptisms, christenings, memorials, and most importantly the best 
times spent at the church include all of the special memories and feelings that 
people get from their visit. 






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Works Cited 

Angel Gabriel decoration hung above the organ-photograph. 

October 2002. 
Back of church along with an outside view of the stain glass window behind the 

alter-photograph. October 2002. 
Bates, Andrea. Personal Interview. September 2002 
Beautiful arch entrance way-photograph. October 2002. 
Case with poem for Lena Williamson-photograph. October 2002 
"Church by the Side of the Road". 12 September 2002. Available 

[www.photographybyharvey.com/CBSRy] 
Church by the Side of the Road. The Church by the Side of the Road . 

Pamphlet. 2001. 
Frontal view of The Church by the Side of the Road-photograph. 

October 2002. 
Gehrand, Lois. "Singing Canaries Beautify Rockton Roadside Church" 1 5 July 

1967. BDN. No page number. 
Inside view of stain glass window behind alter and also lights by alter and along 

communion railing-photograph. October 2002. 
"Landmark Put Rockton on Map, Helped Pay Bills". The Register Star . No Date. 
"Memories". Rockton Harold . No editor. No Date. 
Nelesen, Marcia. Janesville Gazette . No date. 
Parking lot, side view of church-photograph. October 2002. 



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Side stain glass windows inside of church. October 2002. 
Side view from Blackhawk Blvd-photograph. October 2002. 
Wagon at entrance of church parking lot-photograph. October 

2002. 
"Wagon Wheel Chronology." R-Star 21 August 1994. 10A. Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Library. 
Wheldon, Clark. Personal interview. 16 October 2002. 



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Town of Yesteryear 

It began as an army campsite during the Civil War and developed into a growing 
and thriving community. It gracefully aged into one of the oldest and historic 
neighborhoods in the Rockford area. Churchill's Grove reigns as a vintage turn- of- the- 
century neighborhood with many English Tudor and Victorian homes. Churchill's Grove 
is a triangular- shaped neighborhood located on the north end of Rockford. The Rock 
River, Auburn St. and North Main St. bound it. Located in the center of the community is 
Harlem Ave. stretching one mile in length, and lined with many beautiful trees and 134 
antique gaslights. This is a neighborhood full of history and lovely scenery of yesterday 
("Churchill's Grove Seeks Past"). 

In 1862 Adjutant General Fuller was sent to Rockford, to inspect for possible 
locations for an army training camp for federal soldiers of the Civil War. The search was 
inspired by Abraham Lincoln's call to organize volunteers, to fight for the cause of the 
Union. General Fuller named Jason Marsh Camp Commander. The Rockford Register 
Star indicates that Marsh was responsible for naming the camp. Marsh was also 
responsible for setting up the Rockford School System. In its early stages Camp Fuller 
was a tent camp. It later housed over 3,000 troops in its barracks. There were four 
regiments stationed at the camp—the 74th, the 92nd, the 95th, and the 96th. The men in 
these regiments fought in some of history major battles such as the battles of Bull Run 
and Missionary Ridge. In November of 1863, the 74th regiment was first to plant its 



Churchill-2 

colors atop the enemy stronghold at the battle of Missionary Ridge. Their flag went 
through 16 major encounters, and is on display at Memorial Hall located on North Main 
St. The camp was closed in 1863 and the barracks were sold at auction in April 1882. The 
campgrounds were sold to four local citizens for a sum of $7,200 and the 29 acres of land 
were subdivided. After the land had been sold, the residents in the Rockford area decided 
it was time to use this prime land for the development of residency ("Churchill Grove 
Seeks Past"," Churchill's Grove"). 

Before 1890, there were only 15 homes recorded in the Camp Fuller community. 
Major growth had begun to take place in the 1890s, and well into the early 1900s. "This 
era was known as the North End Land Boom", according to the North End Times . Due to 
the prominent growth at the time, the area soon became known as the North End 
Commons. Many homes and businesses began popping up all over the neighborhood. If 
walls could talk, they would tell the tale of the many interesting buildings and homes in 
the neighborhood. For instance, the building at 1260 N. Main St. is remembered because 
it was once used as a camp hospital. In addition, the building that stands at 125 Guard St. 
was built in 1842; it is the former entrance to Camp Fuller. It is now the oldest building 
still in use in Rockford. Some of the homes in this prestigious neighborhood are known 
for their beauty and their grace. There are some that are known for their notoriety. 
One such home is 1425 Camp Ave.; the Rockford Register Star dubbed this home as 
"The House of Tragedy". On January 7, 1978 Simon Peter Nelson, who lived in the 
house at the time, took the lives of his six children. He was given a sentence of 100-200 
years in a state penitentiary ("North End Renaissance"). 

Churchill's Grove is also known for its many interesting street names. Prominent 



Churchill-3 

figures of the Civil war, the campsite itself, and local industrialist were the inspiration for 
most of the street names. Sheridan and Sherman Streets were named for Civil War 
generals Phillip Henry Sheridan and William Tecumseh Sherman. Van Wie Ave was 
named for Edgar Allison Van Wie who served in the first battle of Bull Run. Van Wie 
came to Rockford in 1866 and founded the Rockford Burial Case Co. Boilvin Ave. was 
named for Nicholas Boilvin former owner of the land now known as Greenwood 
Cemetery. It was revealed in a personal interview with Jerry Strombeck, (superintendent 
at Greenwood cemetery) that the cemetery was built in 1852. But some of its inhabitants 
have been buried as early as 1838. Boilvin was also known for his efforts to establish the 
city of Winnebago; if Boilvin's plans had worked Rockford would be known as 
Winnebago. Myott St. was named for Catherine Myott, Boilvin's half-breed cousin who 
originally sold the land to Boilvin. Camp, Post, and Guard Streets were all named after 
the campsite itself ("North End Renaissance"). 

In the mid 1980s, the people of Churchill's Grove decided to change the name of 
the neighborhood. They wanted a name that would express its vintage history. It was 
decided that it would be named for the man who originally sold the land to the 
government. Phineas P. Churchill owned and farmed a large amount of land in the 
Rockford area many years ago. It seemed very fitting to name this majestic neighborhood 
after a man who had contributed so much to the Rockford community. According to the 
Rockford Register Star, " Churchill's Grove is a multi-generational neighborhood where 
young couples starting out are living next door to couples with grown children. It is home 
to a population of more than 760 residents, and more than 283 households. The median 
values of the homes are $92,955, and the median household income is $51,768. Residents 



Churchill-4 

reside here an average of 1 1.7 years, and the predominant groups include young college 
educators, executives with dual income and many professionals (Who Lives Here, 
Northwest Rockford"). 

In 1998 Churchill's Grove teamed up with other North End neighborhoods to 
form the North End Neighborhood Congress. The Congress is made up of representatives 
from each neighborhood, which includes: Churchill's Grove, Edgewater, North End 
Square, and Signal Hill. First members to represent their neighborhoods were Marianna 
Boykin, Joe Brucato, Sally Mark, Barbara and John McNamara, Tom Power and Doug 
Schroder. The Congress was formed to confront crime, deteriorating homes and vacate 
storefronts. Its mission is to stabilize homeownership, increase property values and to 
make neighborhoods attractive. It stands to ensure future viability of the neighborhood 
businesses, instill personal safety, and welcome homeowners and renters while 
maintaining high property standards. Churchill's Grove's goal is to promote the common 
good, general welfare and civic pride in the City of Rockford and its surrounding 
communities. Churchill's Grove seeks to further beautify and preserve the traditions of 
this historical neighborhood. Some of the social activities in the Grove include an Annual 
Picnic, Rock River Cruise, Roller Skate Night, Luminary Night Candle Pickup and 
Display, Summer Fest, and the Camp Fuller Festival ("Shared Boundaries Shared 
Visions, the first Annual North End Neighborhood Congress"). 

Churchill's Grove is part of the North End, the last shopping district in the 
Rockford area whose original streetscape is still intact. Its historic charm is impossible to 
duplicate. The Rockford Historic Preservation Committee is recommending to the City 
Council and Illinois State that the North End as an area should be a preservation district, 



Churchill-5 

because more than one building is considered significant. Although many businesses 
have moved on over the years, there are still a few that have decided to stay. One in 
particular is Der Rathskellar, who has been around since 1931. Still there are others such 
as the Tin Whistle and Zazine Hair Salon ("Churchill's Grove"). 

Churchill's Grove began as a camp, it grew into a community, and it aged and 
reigns as Rockford's regal neighborhood with many relics of the past. Not many other 
neighborhoods can boast this. Churchill's Grove stands in a class all by itself as the old, 
charming neighborhood by the shores of the North End of Rockford. A neighborhood of 
the past, the present, and the future. 



Churchill-6 



Works Cited 

"Churchill Grove Plans Tours." North End Times , 4-25-85 12 Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Churchill Grove Seeks Past." Rockford Register Star, 3-1-89 3 A Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 

"Harlem Blvd Couple Adds Special Touch." Rockford Register Star, 1 1-10-85, IF, 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 

"House of Tragedy Full of Life Again." Rockford Register Star , 7-1-82 Rockfordiana 

Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"North Side Congress." Rockford Register Star , 6-21-98, IB Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 

Rockford City Directory-2002 

"Rockford Discovering the People Next Door." Rockford Register Star , 9-24-89 IF, 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 

Samuel "North End Renaissance." North End Times , 1-88, 3 Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Shared Boundaries Shared Visions, the First Annual North End Neighborhood 
Congress." Rockford Register Star , 6-19-98 3 A, Rockford Public Library. 
"Shared Visions", Rockford Register Star , 6-19-98 4, 8 Rockfordiana Files, Rockford 

Public Library. 

Strombeck, Jerry, Greenwood Cemetery Superintendent, personal interview. 

"Who Lives Here, Northwest Rockford?" Rockford Register Star , 3-30-97 IB, 



Churchill-7 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
Rockford North End Commons. "Churchill's Grove". Website 2001 

www.rockfordcommunity.org. November 1 1 ,2002 
Rockford North End Commons. "News". Website 2001 

www.rockfordcommunity.org. November 11,2002 
Rockford North End Commons. "The Story of Camp Fuller". Website 2001. 
www.rockfordcommunity.org. November 11,2002 



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• >.-' ' Gary Carlson/The Register Sl» 

Lenore Cullum stands under one of the sample street lights the people in Churchil 
Grove are proposing (or their area. . .'. " ■,]':■ .■:■"' '■ ' '■ 

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itlnue north on Main to the Churchill's Grove 
lorhood, including Harlem Boulevard and" National 
3, lined with stately turnof-the-century homes 
) read the marker at Guard Street and Harlem- 
as the site of Camp Fuller, a regional training 
or Union soldiers (note the names of side 
-<■■ Camp, Post, Sheridan, Sherman ) 




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Union soldiers 
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the Civil War. 



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(left) The Tin Whistle is part of the N. 
Main St. corridor of North End Commons. 
(above) Patricia Castree is president of the 
North End Commons Business Association. 










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darianne Boykin (from left), Joe Bruscato. Tom Power, Sally Mark, John McNamara. Doug Schroder and 
larbara McNamara hold a meeting at Third Presbyterian Church. They are members of the newly formed 
ieighborhood "congress." 

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Crusader Clinic On Broadway: 
Changing Over Time 



Christia Quinby 

English Composition I 

Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Christia Quinby Quinby 1 

English 101 
November 25, 2002 

Changing Over Time 

From 1926 through 2002, 1 100 Broadway has been City National Bank, 
the Broadway Hotel, and currently Crusader Clinic. Although all three businesses are 
different, they all have one thing in common. Each business contained customers. When 
a room was rented, a deposit was made, or a prescription was filled, the person was 
considered a customer. 

In 1926, City National Bank owned by First of America Bank, was built ("1997 
AIA Awards"). Truman Johnson was president, Ge Bloomquist was vice president, EA 
Anderson was a cashier, and Rupert Gustafson assistant cashier, operated the bank in 
1927 (Directory 1927). The bank offered drive in banking, loans, and depositing (City 
National flier). 

In 1927, the Broadway Hotel also owned by First of America Bank, was built 
right next to City National Bank. The buildings were seperated by an alley (1997 AIA 
Awards). GE Bloomquist was the vice president of the Broadway Hotel and City 
National Bank (Directory 1927). 

In 1996, First of America donated the former Broadway Hotel and City 
National Bank building. The buildings were still seperated by an alley. Gary W. 
Anderson & Associates, were hired to convert the buildings into a health care facility. 
The cost of the project would be $2,700,000, due to the extreme amount of work 
needed ("1997 AIA Awards"). 

Crusader Clinic on Broadway replaced the Crusader located at Ken Rock Health 


















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Quinby 2 

Center, 3041 Kishwaukee St. The clinic was too small to handle the rapid growth of new 

patients. The clinic decided to stay in that area, because it was convinient to south and 

eastside resident. The area has a reputation for having prostitution, pimps, and 

bums. The area has a bad name, but businesses are growing throughout the 

neighborhood. A Pickermans restaurant was just built on the corner of Seventh 

and Sixth Street. The Morning Glory restaurant, and A&E CD store on the seventh 

block. With ten locations to choose from, Crusader chose the First of America Bank 

Building. Because of the layout of the building, it could provide room for expansion 

(Press Release). ! I 

Now that the location was established, and the contracters were hired. Linda 

« 
Niemec, Vice President of Crusader Clinic, had to raise startup money for the new clinic. 

I; 

Through hardwork and determination Linda Neimic raised $2.4 million for Crusader's I 

newest project. 

I 
Businesses such as UPS donated $25,000 to support the health care clinic. 

I' 1 
John J McDonough , a former Rockford businessman challenged Crusader to raise 

I' 

$200,000 which he would match, if money was raised in a 2 1/2 month time frame. 

Another challenge came from the Kresge Foundation, which would donate $150,000, but 

Crusader had to raise $2 million by May 1,1996. Crusader accepted both challenges. 

Through donations and fundraisers, Crusader was able to reach both goals on time 

(To Build Health Center). 

Neither money nor support was handed on a silver platter. Crusader Clinic 






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constantly had to prove itself to the supportive and the non supporters in this project. 
People such as Judy Barnard, Chairman of the Winnebago County Board Finance 
Committee, had concerns about how the clinic would make it financially. Patients with 
Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance, would cover most healthcare costs. Patients 
without insurance would be treated for free. Would patients with no income outnumber 
the patients with insurance? Was the main concern. Unlike many programs, which are 
funded with grants, the clinic would be operating off of patients' insurance ("Can New 
Clinic Survive"). 

Crusader Clinic was not created overnight. It took dedication and motivation 
from team players to create the health facilty. With many obstacles, Crusader managed 
to reach the goal, with opening the new clinic on March 10, 1997, replacing the 
healthcare clinic located in Ken Rock Health Center, on Kishwaukee Street. 

In 1 999, the University of Illinois, College of Medicine established Women's 
Health Services on the first floor at Crusader Clinic. Women's Health Services 
focus strictly on women. Provides quality care to prenatal, postpartum, and childless 
women. Pregnant women receive prenatal care: ultrasounds, necessary lab draws, 
medication if needed, and routine check ups. Postpartum women receive six week check 
ups and address any necessary health issues after deliverey. Some childless women 
prefer to go Women's Health for healthcare. Versus a family practice doctor, Women's 
Health specialize in women's anatomy. 

In 2001, a memory diagnostic center was established through the Southern Illinois 
University School of Medicine Alzheimer's disease department (Archival File). "By 






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Quinby 4 

elderly being on a fixed income, this service is well needed" (Interview, Shantonex). 
The memory diagnostic center provides psychological and neurological testing, to get 
an accurate diagnosis. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer, the disease can be 
controlled through medication. Medications such as Exelon can help maintain daily 
living activities {Living with Alzheimer's Disease). 

In 2002, dental care services were offered in the basement at Crusader Clinic. 
"By Crusader having two clinics that offer dental services. Patients can get sooner 
appointments. Instead of waiting for months for an appointment" (Interview). 
The dental department provide dental care to adults and children. Children tend to 
get a sooner appointment than adults, due to extreme amount of dental work adults 
need. 

Crusader Clinic is a non-profit organization that provides qaulity care to 
anyone in need. Crusader Clinic does not discriminate against age, race, health 
status, or financial status. 

People places, and things all change over time. Throughout time, City National 
Bank, and the Broadway hotel, became Crusader Clinic. Through 76 years and three 
businesses, one thing that is familiar to the building is customers. From the past, present, 
to the future, customers will always be welcome. 



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Christia Quinby Quinby 1 

English 101 
November 25, 2002 

Works Cited 

1997 AIA Awards Merit Award winner for Excellence in Architexture". memo. 

10-28-97 Crusader Clinic Archival File. 

"Can New Clinic Survive" Rockford Register Star . 1-21-97. Rockfordiana Files. 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Crusader Clinic Press Release" May 20, 1996. Crusader Archival File. 
Crusader Clinic. Rockford, Illinois. Broadway entrance. Acquired from Archival 

file. Date unknown. Photgrapher unknown. 
Crusader Clinic. Rockford, Illinois. Front entrance. Acquired from Crusader 

Crusader Clinic Archival file. 1996. Photographer unknown. 
First of America Bank (City National). Rockford, Illinois. Main entrance. 

Aquired from Crusader Clinic file. 1996. Photographer unknown. 
Interview. Shantonex Holliman. Crusader Clinic employee. 10-15-02. 
"Living with Alzhiemer's Disease". Panthlet. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. 

March 2001. 
National City flier. Acquired from Crusader Clinic Archival file. Artist unknown. 

Date unknown. 
"New Gets $200,000 Boost" Rockfod Register Star . 2-19-97. Rockfordiana Files. 

Rockford Public Library. 
Reconstuction Photos. Rockford, Illinois. Inside Crusader Clinic. Acquired 

from Crusader Archial file. 1996. Photographer unknown. 






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Quinby 2 

Rockford City Directory 1 927. 

"To Build Health Center" Rockford Register Star . 12-4-96. Rockfordiana Files. 
Rockford Public Library. 



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A TIME FOR CHANGE 
MULDOON HIGH SCHOOL/CRUSADER CLINIC 

RUBY ESCOBEDO 
ENGLISH COMPOSITION, ROCK VALLEY COLLEGE 

FALL 2002 



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Ruby Escobedo 
English 101 Sec. RRM 
21 November 2002 

A Time For Change 

Muldoon Grove today is a building used as a medical facility and for other various 
purposes. When it was first erected, it was used for the development of high school 
education by the Catholic community. It is a dark-brown, three-story building and appears 
to be an old structure, but in great condition. Muldoon sits in a quiet residential area and 
is located right off of State Street. 

Standing in front of the building are four white columns carefully holding in place 
a part of Muldoon. In between the columns, just above the doors, is the name "Muldoon" 
in black letters. According to the old features of the building, the evidence proves that the 
building was built many years ago. One very interesting characteristic features of the 
building are its windows. It has dozens of windows, each leading into different rooms of 
the building. Black steel bars contain two of the windows in the front. The window in the 
middle has what seems to like a small balcony. The frames of the windows are very 
different. The ones on the ground level are arched and all the rest are squared off. 

Surrounding Muldoon are a wide variety of small trees and bushes. On the left- 
east side of the building are green vines slowly creeping up the side of the wall as if 
trying to conceal something from the past. On the same side, there are very tall plants 
with flaming red flowers making a hedge to protect the old Muldoon building. 

The one major reason for this building was to end co-education for the Catholic 
High School students. Everything was decided by the Catholic Church of Rockford. 



























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Escobedo-2 
The whole community of Rockford was eagerly awaiting the completion of the school 
("Girls' School Is Named After Late Bishop"). 

Bishop Peter J. Muldoon, for whom the school was named, had a big part in the 
development of the school. Due to the actions he made in the development of the St. 
Thomas High School for boys, the high school for girls was built and influenced by the 
same actions. Also involved in the development was Rev. Edward F. Hoban, Bishop of 
Rockford. The development was left under his guidance ("Girls' School Is Named After 
Late Bishop"). 

The Bishop Muldoon High School was partially constructed and in use by 
1929 ("Girls' School Is Named After Late Bishop"). On May 22, 1930, Cardinal Lauds 
held a dedication ceremony for the completion of the building. It turned out to be a great 
success ("Cardinal Lauds City's Spirit At Dedication Of New Schools"). 

Involved in the construction of the building were many talented people. The 
building was designed by W. J. Van Der Meer, architect. William Anderson was the 
general contractor for the school and C. B. Connor was the construction 
superintendent ("Girls' School Is named After Late Bishop"). 

The exact costs of the building are undefined. Costs for the Bishop Muldoon High 
School and St. Thomas High School together were estimated at approximately 
$500,000 ("Girls* School Is Named After Late Bishop"). 

On May 22, 1930, thousands of people crowded the streets to witness the 
dedication of the two Catholic High Schools. Also recognized in the dedication was the 
final completion of the buildings. During all of this, both the Rockford and Catholic 

















































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Escobedo-3 
communities expressed an extreme amount of spirit and emotion in regards to the 
completion ("Cardinal Lauds City's Spirit At Dedication Of New Schools"). 

Not only did the community try to do their best for the school, but also the Sisters 
of the Dominican tried to do their best for the girls. The Sisters, which were the ones who 
basically had charge of the school, made the best effort to deliver the standard principles 
of religion and to ensure the inner growth and development of the girls ("Girls' School Is 
Named After Late Bishop"). 

From 1930 to 1970 the school remained unchanged except for the few members 
of the staff that were either added or released. Still, the one main reason that the educators 
strived for was to unfold the high school curriculum for the students. In this case, to the 
Sisters it meant to teach them the most of religion and educational material ("Muldoon 
Adds 4 To Faculty"). 

It was not until February 25, 1970 that the news made headlines that Muldoon 
High would close its doors. This was due to the fact of the rising costs of education and 
therefore that school was faced with a decline in student enrollment. The school was to 
close its doors at the end of the semester, which was in June of 1970 ("Muldoon To 
Close; High Costs Blamed"). 

Many junior girls refused to accept the decision that the school would be closing. 
Because of that, the girls were, in a sense, forced to seek education elsewhere. They were 
given the choice of either going to public high school or to Boylan High, which involved 
co-education and a fee of $125.00 more than what they paid at Muldoon High. With that, 
the last senior class of Muldoon decided to help raise the money to help pay for the extra 



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Escobedo-4 
fee each girl was being charged ("Muldoon Class To Stick Together"; "Muldoon Girls 
Will Share Closing Doors"). 

It was not until June 21, 1970, that Rev. Thomas L. Dzienlak made the final 
benediction at Muldoon High when the girls finally had to say good-bye. It was hard 
for everyone, especially the girls, to see this time come. Having to say good-bye to their 
teachers, the school, and especially each other was the most difficult ("Final Hurrah For 
Muldoon"). 

Mrs. Frank Sparcino(Josephine Laudicina) stated, "I remember some of the most 
treasurable moments that the girls and I shared together at Muldoon High." She also 
mentioned that a great part of their lives was spent there at the high school and it was 
there where growth and development took place. Mrs. Sparcino said that she could also 
distinguish the closeness that there was between her and the others then and in the years 
that followed. She also recalled how she and the other girls felt when they heard the awful 
news that the school would be closing its doors to them forever ("Sparcino"). 

Due to the problems that Muldoon was faced with, they had no choice but to close 
their doors to the community. With this, Board of Education took over the building in the 
spring of September 1971. The Rockford Public School System wanted to change the 
building and build a playground to accommodate an elementary school of 280 fourth and 
fifth grade students. When Principal William White sought financial help from the Board, 
he was denied. In 1972, parents not only complained about the school, but also pulled 
their children out of school because changes were not made ("Muldoon Pupils Seek Play 
Area"; "Muldoon Groups Air Complaints Over Old School"). 





















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Escobedo-5 
In 1970, Crusader Clinic was chartered as a non-profit organization by a group of 
citizens in Rockford. Their major concern was to provide medical assistance for low- 
income residents. After they were organized, the Rockford Catholic Diocese donated the 
old Muldoon High School building. In 1972, the Illinois Regional Medical Program Grant 
provided Crusader Clinic with money to establish a medical and dental facility, which 
provided a part-time physician and dentist. They also received financial support from the 
City of Rockford, Rockford Township, Harlem Township, and Cherry Valley Township, 
which enabled them to initiate operation ("History"). 

A First Federal Grant was issued to Crusader Clinic in 1979. This Grant allowed 
the expansion of full-time clinical services. Besides offering medical and dental 
assistance to the community, Crusader has also founded Ken Rock Health Center, West 
End Pharmacy, Comprehensive Parental Care Program, and the Health Care for the 
Homeless Program. Also provided by Crusader Clinic to the community are various 
programs. Today their services include: Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Women's 
Health, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Dental, Optical, Pharmacy, Community Services, Memory 
Diagnostic Center, and Health Education. Crusader also assists their patients with bus 
passes to go to and from the clinic, food vouchers, and services for pregnant teens. Their 
mission then and today is to "serve the Rockford area with quality primary health care for 
all people in need." ("Services"). 









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Escobedo-7 
Works Cited 

"Cardinal Lauds City's Spirit At Dedication of New Schools." Rockford Star . 5/22/30. 

No Page. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Final Hurrah For Muldoon." Rockford Register Star. 6/21/70. No Page. Rockfordiana 

Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Girls' School Is Names After Late Bishop." Rockford Star . 10/01/29. No Page. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"History of Crusader Clinic." Crusader Clinic. No Date Available. 

www.crusaderclinic.org/history.htm. 
"Muldoon Adds 4 to Faculty." Rockford Register Star. 8/31/44. No Page. Rockfordiana 

Files. Rockford Public Library. 
"Muldoon Class To Stick Together." Rockford Register Star. No Date. No Page. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Muldoon Girls Will Share Closing Doors." Rockford Register Star . No Date. No Page. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Muldoon Group Airs Complaints Over Old School' Rockford Register Star. No Date. 

No Page. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Muldoon Pupils Seek Play Area." Rockford Star . No Date. No Page. Rockfordiana 

Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Muldoon To Close, High Costs Blamed." Rockford Register Star . No Date. No Page. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 












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Escobedo-8 



'Scope of Services." Crusader Clinic. No Date Available. 
www, crusaderclinic. org/scope. htm. 



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Danfoss Drives-Division of Danfoss, Inc. 
Loves Park, Illinois, USA. 

Danfoss Drives, a division of Danfoss Inc., was the first company to develop and 
produce AC (alternating current) Drives in the world. Danfoss Drives has achieved ISO 
9001 (ISO: International Standard Organization) and ISO 14001 certifications. Today, 
Danfoss Drives produces over 100,000 drives every year and sells all products through a 
worldwide network. Also, the investment and good organization are important steps in 
Danfoss' expansion strategy in the United States. 

In 1933, Mads Clausen, a young engineer, established a company with the name 
of KJaleautomatik-og Apparat Fabrik on the island of Als in Denmark. Mads Clausen 

started this company in the farmhouse in which he was born (in 1991, this farmhouse 
was turned into a museum to tell the story of Mads Clausen about foundations, 
technologies and expansion of Danfoss). In 1946, because the company name was too 
long and difficult to read, so they changed it to Danfoss with 261 employees. Due to 
rapid growth, Danfoss expanded and has continued to develop to today (Division of 
Danfoss). 

The parent company, Danfoss A/S that is an international group, belongs to the 
leaders in research, development and production of AC Drives. Danfoss produces 
mechanical, electronic components and controls. Its headquarters is in Nordborg, 
Denmark. Danfoss has production facilities in a number of countries worldwide. There 
are a lot of factories, sales and service offices located in 86 countries with over 20,000 









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NguyenP 2 



employees. Today, Danfoss seeks to accomplish its goals by expanding production in 
Illinois to supply the North American market, including Mexico and Canada (Division of 
Danfoss). 

In the United States, Danfoss Drives Division had a sales office and a 
manufacturing facility. The Sales office was located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the 
production facility was located at 2995 Eastrock Drive in Rockford, Illinois. In 1987, 
Danfoss Drives bought Hampton Company that produced DC (direct current) drives. 
During the first five years, they produced both DC and AC drives with 50 employees. 
Danfoss Drives changed and developed the production from DC drives to AC drives 
(Hobbs interview). 




The old buildings was 
located at 2995 Eastrock 
Drive in Rockford 



Photo b v'- D iv is ion of Danfosss 




Today, Danfoss Drives expands and produces AC digital programmable VLT® 
( Velo city Controller or VELOTROL, they usually call AC Drives) frequency 
converters for variable speed control of electronic motors (Ray interview). They are 



NguyenP 3 

available in the power range from 0.75 KW to 450KW (From 1HP to 600HP), and are 
used to vary the speed of motors. Such motors may convey materials, pump water, 
control fans in heating, and air conditioning. The motors operate more efficiently and 
consume less energy when controlled by the VLT®. Danfoss Drives supplies systems 
such as Water Supply System, where wastewater treatment and the VLT® save energy 
in centrifugal pumping. The need for clean water is a basic requirement that is growing 
attention worldwide, and Danfoss Drives has proven their mastership in water 
management with multiple benefits. The VLT® helps control the process, reduce water 
leakage, and provide energy savings in communities (Division of Danfoss). 




In 1994, the factory received ISO 9001 certification for Quality Management 
System (QMS). All process documentation, tooling and equipment is specified, 
controlled and released by the Manufacturing Engineering Department personal in 




































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NguyenP 4 

accordance with the documented ISO procedures. Also, Danfoss Drives requires the 
process of production, all assemblers need to qualify inspection points, document and 
root cause analysis of both workmanship and material defects, and the process of 
training, testing and qualification by the Quality Assurance Technicians. Danfoss Drives 
wants to achieve high quality as well as commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, 
and continual improvement (Danfoss Drives meeting). 

ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) certification was won in 
1999. Danfoss Drives not only creates a basis for the group's global growth, but also 
contributes increased environmental awareness in employees. An environmental 
management system has been established to inform employees of their environmental 
responsibilities. The factory is committed to improving environmental performance and 
preventing pollution. At Danfoss Drives, environmental policy is discussed and evaluated 
on an on-going basis through meetings with the employees. For example, Recycle Bins 
have been introduced for obsolete and damaged products. Products and materials are 
disassembled, and are put in specific Recycle Bins labeled for each kind of material. 
Also, Danfoss Drives has contributed the "clear solution" by producing and supplying the 
VLT® for water application (Danfoss Drives meeting). 

Danfoss Drives had only two small buildings in Rockford that included one for 
service and one for production. Because of developmental conditions and requirements 
for production, they rented two more buildings that were close by the old building. This 
was inconvenient for production, because it was very difficult for workers to relate to 
each other when they were in four different buildings. Also, Danfoss Drives has about 
1 84 employees including 84 hourly employees and 99 salaried employees ( 1 1 outside 


















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NguyenP 5 

sales), which will increase to 325 people by 2003 (Danfoss Drives USDDE from manager 
officer). Because the customers required the AC Drives, Danfoss was developed to 
achieve all the goals that were to meet the increasing customer needs. 

Erhardt Jessen, former president of Danfoss Drives, proposed to build a new 
building, and the proposal was approved by the executive team in Denmark. They looked 
at nine different locations before they decided to buy its current site in the Loves Park 
area. The site was an open field of corn with 15 acres. Along the front side of the building 
is the 1-90 highway between Madison and Chicago; on the backside is North Bell School 
Road; on the right side is Rockford Truck Sales and Volcano Falls, a recreation site; and 
on the left side is a Pepsi-Cola Distribution Company. They decided to build the new, 
bigger building to help make it easier and more convenient for transportation. All 
employees of Danfoss Drives were excited, because they achieved a good advantage for 
their career and satisfied their ambitions to work together in one building (Campbell, Ray 
and Bob interview). Jorgen M. Clausen, President of Danfoss A/S, son of the founder 
said, "We needed a facility that would offer high visibility, easy access for our 
international visitors and a pleasant work environment for our highly qualified and 
innovative staff (Jorgen M Clausen, said from Division of Danfoss). 



The site was an open field of corn with 15 Acres. 




Photo by: Division of Danfoss. 














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NguyenP 6 



On June 30 th , 2000 Danfoss Drives broke ground for a new building with a cost of 
$ 17 million for its building project, at 4401 North Bell School Road in Loves Park. A lot 
of people helped launch construction of the new building such as Dave Syverson (Illinois 
State Senator), Ron Wait (State Representative), Darryl Lindberg (Loves Park Mayor) 
and other dignitaries. Deciding to build the new building was one of the basic steps for 
expansion strategy in the United States. "It had become obvious that, due to rapid growth, 
we had simply run out of room," said Danfoss Drives President Ross Waite. "This 
building will accommodate our expansion" (Division of Danfoss). 




June 30, 

2000 

Danfoss 

Drives 

broke 

ground 

for a 

New 

building 



From the North Bell School Road, looking at the back of the white building, there 
are two big bold Italic signs in red letters. A Danfoss sign is on the right side and one is 
on the back side on the top of the wall. Also, there are two entrances to get in to the new, 
bigger building of Danfoss Drives; each side of the building has one parking lot. They 
have a lot of trees planted around the building mixing together with streetlights in order 



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NguyenP 7 



to enhance the beautiful environment. The parking lot on the left side (from the back) is 
bigger than the other side and it has a driveway that runs along the parking lot. Drive on 
this side. There are three flags in front of the building: Danfoss (left), United States of 
America (middle) and the state of Illinois (right). These flags snap in the wind like 
greetings. On the top of the new building there are six central air units with big a fan 
inside six square boxes. They provide the cool air for the whole building. Also, there are 
twenty-four skylights arranged in six lines, each line with four skylights. They provide 
the light from the sun to help keep the inside bright and clean. 



Photo by: Division of Danfoss. 




There are 

three flags 

in front of 

the 

building: 

Danfoos 

(left), 

United 

States of 

America 

(middle) 

and the 

State of 

Illinois 

(right). 



Employees get inside the building by four convenient main entrances, with 
parking on two sides. The building is divided in two parts: one big square that is only one 
story and is used for production, shipping, service, and the lab. The other one is the shape 
of an arch; it has two stories and is used for office, cafeteria, training, and meeting room. 
There is a lot of glass around both sides in front of the building. This building includes: a 
production area of 69,472 sq. ft, a service area of 2,352 sq. ft, an engineering lab of 9,000 









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NguyenP 8 

sq. ft, and main offices of 43,176 sq. ft (Danfoss Drives USDDE from manager officer). 
The building has eight garage doors in the back that are used for shipping and receiving; 
each side has two garage doors that can be used when necessary. Also, there are eight-fire 
exits that are used for emergencies, such as a fire or a bomb evacuation and four-tornado 
shelters including two stairs to the basement and two bathrooms. 

The Schmelling Construction Company built the new building. There were two 
difficulties during construction. First, the rain flooded the basement, so it was very 
difficult to build and it reduced the speed of construction. Second, somebody got hurt 
because he fell during construction. The new building was completed on October 1 st , 
2001 with 124,000-square-foot. On October 15 th , 2001 Danfoss Drives started to move 
from the four old buildings in the Rockford area to a new building in the Loves Park area 
(Long interview). 




Danfoss Drives new facility located at 
1-90 and East Riverside Boulevard 



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There are many similarities and differences between the old and expanded 
production in the new building. Although Danfoss Drives has achieved good growth in 









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NguyenP 9 



sales, the process of organization has stayed the same: the supply chain, the arrangement 
of production, concepts of production and new production employees. The system of 
USDDE Supply Chain includes Administration, Alan Drifka (Vice President), Ray 
Campbell, (Production & Test Engineering Manager), Shelley Ryan-Carlson, 
(Technology and Quality Systems Manager), Michael Reckamp, (Logistics Manager), 
and David Holmgren, (Purchasing Manager). 

Also, the arrangement of production has stayed the same in P249 (the Drives 
range from lHp to 10HP Process or from 1.5HP to 15HP HVAC), P250 (the Drives 
range from 15HP to 60HP Process or from 25HP to 75HP HVAC), P44-01 (the Drives 
range from 75HP to250HP Process or from 100HP to 300HP HVAC), and P44-02 (the 
Drives range from 300HP to 500HP Process or from 350HP to 600HP HVAC). The Wire 
Department continues to make assemblies for P44-01/02 only. Two product lines, P249 
and P250, were designed in Denmark. All materials are supplied by Denmark for 
production and expansion in the North American market. Two product lines, P44-01/02, 
were designed in this facility (Rockford area), with all material supplies utilizing a global 
purchasing strategy. All assemblies and test processes are developed at Danfoss Drives, 
and these products are produced in this facility (Campbell interview). 




NguyenP 10 



Concepts of production always require good quality, built to customer order only, 
following instructions on the computer, cross training within product lines to assure 
flexibility, and building to Kan Ban level. Ray Campbell, manager of production said, 
"All sub-assemblies are built to Kan Ban levels." For example, "the concept in Wire 
Department is a two bins Kan Ban system," explains Ray Campbell. "There are two bins 
of completed wires in the respective assembly areas. When a bin is emptied, it is returned 
to the wire department, and this becomes their work order. As in other areas controlled by 
Kan Ban; they are replenishing only what is consumed, based on customer demand" 
(Campbell interview). 

The new production employees are hired through a temporary agency (Furst 
Staff) that requires their work history and test scores. The tests performed by Furst 
Agency include math, reading and comprehension of English. If they are acceptable, a 
supervisor of each department interviews the individual. If he/she is selected, he/she is 
assigned to a trainer. The trainer works with the new employee teaching him/her the 
process of products, workmanship standards, and the basic ISO 9001 and 14001 
standards. The progress of training is estimated on a training sheet. If he/she has good 
results in the process, about 500 hours in meeting and training, he/she is hired and 
becomes an employee of Danfoss Drives (Campbell interview). 

Between the old and new building, there are some changes that enhance 
production including convenience, fast communication, and new modern equipment. 
First, production in the old building was based on two shifts. Standard production hours 
of first shift were 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and hours of second shift were 3:30 PM to 12:00 






: 
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NguyenP 1 1 

PM. The new, bigger building operates currently on one shift where the standard 
production hours are 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. There are also some people working from 
8:00 AM to 5:30 PM in the office and shipping areas. It is very easy for workers to relate 
to each other when they are on one shift in the same building. For example, the product 
line (P44-01, where the writer works) uses the wires #190378. When these two bins are 
emptied, the workers of the product line (P44-01) are returned to the wire department. 
They do this job by themselves, so it is very convenient for working. In the old building, 
it was very difficult to order wires because it was necessary to make a phone call to the 
material handler who brought them from a different building. Assemblers wasted their 
time waiting for wire delivery. 

Second, in the old building, communications regarding tests, repair data, bad 
components, customer orders, production orders, serial numbers, etc, required Email, 
Fax, phone, and PC Excel. In the new building, these communications are available to 
Denmark (DKDD) and United States (USDDE) employees via the following systems: 

1. SAP R/2 (overall the system for Logistics, BOM's, Routings, Production 
Orders, Shipping and Receiving. Communicates with the SFCS and is also used for the 
Sales Department). 

2. SFCS (Shop Floor Control System, is a system for controlling production 
from quality and logistics perspective). 

3. PDC (Process Data Control, is used for controlling the automated test 
equipment and communicating between the test equipment and SFCS). 









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NguyenP 12 

4. IIS (Integrated Information System, is the global data collection system 
used for internal and field quality data on every Drive is stored in this one, global, 
database). 

For example, all of the parts with a series number of a P250 VLT® (PCA's, 
IGBT assemblies, Coil, etc.) are "picked" by using through SFCS to ensure the proper 
components. All items are tied to the customer order, production order, etc. This "Kit" of 
parts is given Unit ED number, which is located on the data label. All of the information 
about the VLT® is known to the system through the Unit ID and registered in IIS. The 
process system that controls the manufacturing flow in DKDD/USDDE (P249/P250) is 
called Shop Floor. This system communicates very fast in the supply chain (Campbell 
interview). 

Finally, the new modern equipment is used to face challenges and to achieve 
growth in the new building. Elsa Schlaf, who is a tester and repairperson, states that an 
operator was required to start the test program in the old building. Also, Hy- pot required 
manual hook up and operation. All the VLT® (P 250) were moved manually on the 
roller benches. In the new building, the VLT® are moved automatically via the robot. 
The test program and Hy- pot are automatic (Schlaf interview). For example, after all the 
VLT® are assembled and are visually inspected, they are moved via a conveyor to the 
entrance into the Test Crane, the automated test system. (Usually called Dianne. It is 
named after Dianne DeCastro, a long time production employee who passed away in 
November of 2001). Each VLT® has unit ED number and is put on a tray. Each tray has 
different barcode number, and this tray number becomes an "alias" for the VLT®. Test 
Crane picks the tray up and brings into an automated Hy -pot tester and then the 



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NguyenP 13 



functional tester. This test is performed when it is moved into 1 of 5 functional test 
chambers, and is only used for P249 and 250. If the VLT® fails in the Test Crane, it is 
sent to the repair station. If it passes all tests, it is exited and sent to Pre-Pack. Dianne can 
operate "24/7" without human assistance and can store 150 units (Schlaf and Campbell 
interview). 




Test 

Crane 

is the 

Automated 

Test 

System 



The new building is beautiful, bigger, convenient and will allow Danfoss to grow 
and meet the anticipated increase in sales. Also, it is helping Danfoss reach its goal for 
global growth. As an employee of Danfoss Drives, the growth and progress that this 
writer has witnessed and been a part of, has been interesting and exciting. 



' 



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Works Cited 



^^^^^/ 



Campell, Ray. Personal Interview. September 2002. 

Campbell, Ray. Personal Interview. October 2002. 

Danfoss Drives USDDE, New Building Information. No Date 

From the office (Manager of Production). 
Division of Danfoss Inc. abstracts Online Services. No Date 

Available [www.danfoss.com]. 
Division of Danfoss Inc. Danfoss New Center, 06 September 2000. 

Available [http:// intranet.danfoss.net/NewCenter]. 
Division of Danfoss Inc. Danfoss Drives Meeting. ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 

(Quality and Environment Policy). Meeting different date. No date. 
Hobbs, Pam. Personal Interview. September 2002. 
Long, Bob. Personal Interview. September 2002. 
New Facility, USA, Loves Park, (Photo from Division of Danfoss) 

Jerry Pilling mail to the author, 2000 -2001. 
Schlaf, Elsa. Personal Interview. October 2002. 



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THE NEW BUILDING OF DANFOSS DRIVES. 





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Email by Jerry Pilling 



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November, 2000 Photo from the Danfoss Drivers 
Email by Jerry Pilling 





INSIDE THE NEW BUILDINGS CONSTRUCTION. 




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THE NEW BUILDING OF DANFOSS DRIVES. 




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THE NEW BUILDING DANFOSS DRIVES DURING CONSTRUCTION. 




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1-90 and East Riverside Boulevard 





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The Changing Of 

Times in the 

Development of East 

High School 



Written by: Christa Jennings 
English Composition, 
Rock Valley College 
Fall 2002 



Christa Jennings 
12-10-02 

The Changing of Times 
In The Development of East High School 

In 1838, almost 100 years before Rockford's East High School was built, the 
West vs. East debate began. Rockford was divided into two parts. According to 
Alexander Miller, a short-term resident, East Rockford was a small village and West 
Rockford was much smaller. The two villages were rivals and competed for supremacy 
for the location of the county courthouse and other public buildings. After all the long 
controversy, the county seat ended up being on the West Bank of the Rock River 
(Buckles, 74). Most people do not know about the history of many buildings that they 
have walked into, but it is never too late to find out. 

In 1895, Mayor Edward Brown, a respected businessman managed to succeed in 
things such as getting lights for illuminating, he created the Board of Local 
Improvements so that property owners could improve their street lights and sidewalks at 
their own expense. In the closing of his regime there was another improvement, a new 
public library. Andrew Carnegie offered a $60,000 gift to Rockford for such a building if 
the city would maintain it by budgeting so much annually (Buckles 85). In 1901, Amasa 
Hutchins was re-elected as mayor and swept every ward but the fourth. There were going 
to be complications. Since Rockford built the first high school near the eastside, which 
was called Rockford High School, people believed it was favoritism (Buckles 85). 



Jennings-2 
Because of the conflicts between the East and the West it was decided to build two 
entrances to the library. This was to make both of the sides happy (Buckles 95). 

In 1929, the stock market crashed and a lot of people and businesses lost their 
assets. As the years passed by and the mid- 1930s came, the Great Depression was 
happening in the country. Meanwhile, in Rockford, IL, the Board of Education said, they 
did not have enough money and everyone should stay at home. Then the board decided 
that the kids needed to be in school. Due to the fact that children need education and 
school is a safe place. 

Just as things were getting better, as far as the East and the West, in 1938, the 
Rockford School Board decided to build a high school on the West Side. Then the School 
Board decided to build a high school on the East Side of Rockford, so they purchased two 
tracts of land ("Purchase Tract"). East High was built on Charles Street Road. At that 
point in time, both of the schools were being built outside of city limits (Buckles 85). 

When the School Board bought the land, they authorized school officials to 
petition the City Council to add the site to the city. The board president filed an 
application with the PWA (Public Works Administration). This was a grant of 
$1,350,000 towards the cost of the building program ("Purchase Tract"). The city 
attorney Carroll Nelson ruled the petition was faulty, and attorney Charles Davis, for the 
Board of Education, challenged them. Because of Nelson's ruling the City Council 
Ordinance committee voted to recommend "no action" on the proposal ("Annexation"). 
Davis and Welsh, two members of the School Board said, "It didn't matter if the 
committee's action was not for the good". The Rockford voters would vote on a proposal 



Jennings-3 
to issue a $1,800,000 in bonds to help pay for the two new high schools ("Annexation"). 
The City Council Ordinance Committee said that they did not have a problem with the 
school being built, but Nelson had pointed out that the annexation order issued by the 
County Judge O. M. Williams, Aug 24 was probably illegal ("Annexation"). 

The talk of the building of East High was in the middle of 1938("Purchase 
Tract"). The construction of East High started in the summer of 1939("Chicago Firm"). 
The school opened for students in September of 1940("Board"). On October 28, 1940 the 
Board of Education formally accepted East High as a finished project ("Board"). The 
companies that helped make East High were: PWA, U.S. Fireproofmg, Frank S. Bellis, J. 
E. Robertson, Axel Ericson Electric, George Sollitt Construction, and James McHugh 
Sons, Inc. ("Chicago Firm"). 

During construction in May of 1939, some workmen were digging in the ground 
and struck something extremely hard. They used dynamite to try to break it, but it failed. 
They called a geologist to come and take a look and found out it was a meteor. It is 
buried fifteen ft. underground. The workmen used drills and blasted it to excavate it, in a 
good portion to permit erection of the foundation footings ("Meteor"). 

The costs of construction at East High School were $1,254,727. It was $34,000 
more than West. The cost of East High's equipment, including desks, chairs, laboratory 
tables, and machinery was $38,213. Heating and ventilating costs were $156,500. 
Plumbing J. E. Robertson costs were $69,224. Electrical work cost $73,300. Excavation 
work costs $32,000 for the building. The general construction was $820,300. All this 
stuff cost more than West High School ("Chicago Firm"). 



Jennings-4 

By 2002, sixty-two years since the opening of East High School, East has 
undergone many changes and has stayed the same in very few ways. Many of the 
changes have been seen through the eyes of individuals. 

East High School is still located in the same place on Charles St. The meteor it 
was built on still exists ("Meteor"). East is the same as in physical aspects. The building 
has not been remodeled on the outside. The structure has remained the same; nonetheless, 
the building just looks older, as in the bricks look stained with age. 

Christa Jennings interviewed Mr. Willson, a history teacher that was also a 
former student 37 years ago. Christa Jennings wanted to know things such as when he 
attended East. How East has changed physically on the inside, how it has changed 
educationally. The writer also wanted to know if there seemed to be changes in the 
teachers and the students and if all the changes that have happened, if they were for the 
best. 

Attending school in the 1960s,according to Mr. Willson, "School is much more 
different than it is now". In the 1960s the classes that were offered were core classes, 
such as math, English, science, and history (Mr. Willson interview). There were many 
clubs that do not exist now. The Laforge Glee Club which was another form of a choir; 
ROTC, a program for army training which is not offered at East; The Forum Club; 
Debate Club, where students can get together in teams and debate on different topics; 
Junior Engineering; Commercia, which deals with the office machines and to hear 
experiences of business men (New Beginning). Calculus was not offered in the 



Jennings-5 
1960s ( Willson interview). In the earlier years, such as the 1940s, the boys and girls had 
separate gyms (New beginning). 

As a former student, Christa Jennings attended East from 2000 until 2002. School 
was different for her. The school's focus was more on the core classes than the electives. 
The school did not have as many clubs as they used to. Most of the clubs that are 
available today have a lot to do with the community. The clubs available are: the Student 
Commission, which is East's student government that organizes activities throughout the 
school. The Key Club does work for the community. International Thespian Society is an 
after school activity for students that have an interest in theatre and performing arts. 
(Beneath the Surface). There are classes for people with learning disabilities, classes with 
behavior problems, honors classes, and regular classes. The courses now are the same 
ones, except Calculus. There are more classes for people for their careers, such as Tech 
classes. There is now technology such as computers, which were not available in the 
earlier years. Another change that has been made, is that the girls and boys now share the 
same gym. 

During the times of the earlier years such as the 1960s, the teachers were not 
involved as much with each individual student. Today the majority of the teachers and 
students have a more casual relationship with each other. Mr. Willson believes that 
students are able to approach their teachers and not be afraid more now than in the past. 
The thing that is of importance is respect. That is something some of the students do not 
have today towards teachers or anyone of higher authority. As Mr. Willson says, "In the 



Jennings-6 
days I went to school, discipline was not a real big issue. There were students that would 
get into trouble, but the teachers did not have to worry about it as much". The issue of 
discipline is a big problem today, because a lot people do not have the same values and 
the schools do not do enough to discipline students. Christa Jennings has seen many of 
these changes and believes there should be more strict rules enforced in the schools, not 
only for the students but for the teachers also"(Mr. Willson interview). Due to the fact 
that students can be disrespectful towards one another and some teachers are afraid and 
let students walk all over them. Then there are students that will do things and not get in 
trouble for anything( Jennings personal exp.). 

A positive change East has seen throughout the years is that there is more 
diversity in the schools. Due to the fact of all the racism that was going on in the earlier 
years not too many people of color attended schools with a majority of Caucasian people. 
As times changed and things were not so segregated, places were filled with more people 
of different diversities and ethnicities. In the words of Mr. Willson, "It was sort of like 
when I was in school, you had to have blue eyes and blonde hair". Most of the people 
attending East High in the 1960s were Caucasian and the few minorities there were, were 
African American ( Willson interview). 

There have been very few renovations and most that have been done are very 
minor. The gym floors have been redone a few times. The cafeteria was remodeled this 
year. Things such as the lockers have been painted, new carpet has been put in and on the 
rear of the building "Millennium 2000" has been painted on there. There is now a mural 
on the first floor where the visitors come in which is a painting of East High School and 



Jennings-7 
statues in front of it. A new roof was being put on during the time that Christa Jennings 
attended East. 

East has been through many changes throughout the years. Through all the hard 
work and complications that the community faced, it probably was a good thing to see 
people working together. The school has held many memories with many more to come. 
In the beginning, East and the West were divided into two cities and the main reason East 
was built, was for separation of the East and the West. East and West High Schools are 
symbols of separatism, but they are also filled with good times. Most of the changes may 
be noticed by people who have attended East and have watched the school grow into the 
community. Physical changes have not occurred, yet they may one day, but until then 
East remains the way it was when it first opened sixty-two years ago. 



Christa Jennings 
12-10-02 
Eng 101 NC 

Works cited 

"Annexation of school Tract Strikes Snag" Rockfordiana Files, East High Rockford 

Register Star, 1938. 

"Back of East high School." Photo by Scott Fisher. November 2002 

"Board Okehs Assignment of E.H.S. Contract." Rockfordiana Files, East High. Reg 

Rep, 1939. 
"Board Speeds Final Payment on East High." Rockfordiana Files, East High. Rockford 

Register Star, 1940. 
Buckles Stanley J. "City Politics and Government East vs. West" Sinnissippi Saga 

Edited by: Nelson, C. Hal 1968. pg, 73-95 
"Chicago Firm Gets Contract For East High." Rockfordiana Files, East High. Reg Rep, 

1939. 
East High School yearbook, "New Beginnings," 1940 
East High School yearbook, "New Beginnings," Picture if the front of East High School. 

Photographer unknown, 1940. 
"Front of east High school from Charles St." Photo by Scott Fisher. November 2002. Jennings, Christa, 
former Student. Personal Experience 
" Meteor Found on High School Site." Rockfordiana Files, East High. Rockford Register 

Star, 1939. 
"Purchase Tract to Get School Site into City." Rockfordiana Files East High.." Reg Rep, 

1938. 
Willson, Donald. East High School teacher. Personal Interview 



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II 



FAIRGROUNDS PARK 



Bellande Pierre 

English Composition I 

Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Bellande Pierre 
English 101 NC 
26 November 2002 

Fairgrounds Park 

Fairgrounds Park is exactly what its name implies. At the beginning of the 

century, it was the showplace for all of the Rockford festivities (A.W Lewis). The park 
pre-dates the Rockford Park District(1909) by several decades. The County Agricultural 
Society had ownership of the park in 1886; it was known as the Winnebago County 
Fairgrounds("Fair Grounds"). 

Between 1904-05 the county Fairgrounds was turned over to the City of 
Rockford. After the formation of the Rockford Park District in 1909, the city turned over 
the care, custody, and control of its property to the Park District. Through the efforts of 
Levin Faust, the Rockford Park District was created. He acknowledged that a 
playground was necessary for the children in the community. He noticed the dangers of 
the children playing in the streets and developed the idea of creating the Park District to 
meet the needs of the families in the community( Barrie interview). Through the efforts of 
William A. Talcott and William Lathrop, the Fairgrounds area was donated to the city for 
park purposes. Swings, seesaws, slides, rings, trapeze bars, sand piles and wading pools 
were installed for the children. Three Softball diamonds, seven tennis courts, and a one- 
third mile cinder track were laid out for the older children("Fairgrounds Park"). 



Pierre-2 



Great varieties of trees such as American Sycamore, Sugar and Norway Maples 
were planted. Shrubs and perennials the same of any park in the district were growing 
there. The perennial border provided the park with a beautiful color affect ( Rockford 
Park District 1910). The southeast corner of the park was made into a Sunken Park 
Garden. It consisted of beautiful and colorful flowers and a water fountain in the 
center.The estimated value of the park was about $90,000("Fair Grounds Park"). 

A concrete dam was constructed across Kent Creek to create a summer swimming 
pool and a skating pond in the winter. When the snow graced the Rockford landscape the 
children would be ice skating on Kent Creek which was a popular activity. The creek 
was sixty feet wide to correspond with a concrete bridge that the city had built(Fair 
Grounds). 

Families came to the park on warm days to enjoy their day, having a picnic lunch 
under the shade that the trees provided. Band concerts were one of the most popular 
events. There was a bandstand in the center of the park where many local bands took 
turns in giving concerts. Many people attended, some from long distances as far as 8 to 
10 miles away. The audience circled the performers and sat in buggies. People that lived 
near the park sat on the grassy slopes. There were songs such as "The Stars and the 
Stripes Forever", "The Double Eagle", and the "Star Spangle Banner", during which 
everyone stood and sang together("OK Fair Grounds..."). 



Pierre-3 



On May 22nd 1914, the park was chosen for the Children's Festival, which was 
the final day of the Spring Festival held by the Chamber of Commerce. All the children 
took part in this event. Being a beautiful site and centrally located made it the logical 
place for such eventsf Rockford Park District " ). 

In 1917, it was chosen for the drill grounds of companies H&K before Camp 
Grant had been located in Rockford. For two weeks a portion of the park was given to a 
carnival company for the favor of companies H&K("Fair Grounds"). The first national 
professional baseball league played at Fairgrounds Park. They were called The 
Forest City. They were one game away from winning the national championship when 
they lost to the Washington Nationals("Fair Grounds"). 

On Sept. 16, 1880 General Ulysses S. Grant visited the park. He stopped in 
Rockford on his way to Galena for a big celebration of the Union's victory. During his 
visit to Rockford Grant stated," It is strange that I have lived so near you and never aide 
you a visit", during his speech at the park. A huge boulder commemorating his visit was 
placed at Fairgrounds Park by Mary J. Brainerd camp No. 57, Daughters of Union 
Veterans of the Civil War("Rockford Historic Site"). 

In 1923, a swimming pool was built in the park. Prior to the pool, people swam in 
a pond created by a dam for Kent Creek. Sometimes when the creek was filled with 
water, the water would hit the dam with so much power that it made holes in the soft 
bedding of mud and sand. This made swimming in the pond very dangerous for 



Pierre-4 
swimmers. The pool was the first that the Park District ever undertook to build. The 

estimated cost of the pool was $25,000. It was fifty by one hundred feet. The depth on the 

east end of the pool was two feet, and the west end of the pool had a depth of eight 

feet( Rockford Park District ). At the time water was supplied through six pipes from the 

city's main waste line, which was provided to the pool at no cost. Every night during the 

swimming season the pool was open between 8p.m. and 8 a.m. Every night the waste was 

taken out of the pool by two eight -inch drains. Then it was scrubbed and refilled ("Fair 

Grounds Park"). 

The park was often used as an outdoor classroom for children. Many graduation 
ceremonies took place there. Sporting events at the park included track, tennis, and 
baseball. May Day was an annual event for thousands of the children(Rockford Park 
District). 

Fairgrounds Park has been although many changes in the past to meet the 
demands of the families in our community. It contains many wonderful stories. It is a 
place that brings Rockford together. 



Work Cited Page 



Barrie, Vance. Personal interview with Vance Barrie. 1 1 Oct. 2002. 
"Fair Grounds Park". Rockford Register 7-26-1950 
"OK Fair Grounds Pool Renovation. Rockford Register 1-18-1969 
Rockford Park District Booklet . 1917 
"Rockford Historic Site". Rockford Register 7-2-95 



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1 






Work Cited Page 



Barrie, Vance. Personal interview with Vance Barrie. 1 1 Oct. 2002. 
"Fair Grounds Park". Rockford Register 7-26-1950 
"OK Fair Grounds Pool Renovation. Rockford Register 1-18-1969 
Rockford Park District Booklet . 1917 
"Rockford Historic Site". Rockford Register 7-2-95 




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IN LOVING MEMORY OF 

JAMES LESLEY HARKINS III 

1989-1996 

THE SMILE 



THE SMILE HE HID HE GAVE EVERYONE OF US A PARI, 
TO SHARE, TO COMFORT. TO HEAL ALL OF OUR HURTING HEARTS. 

THE SMILE HE HAD SHALL GLOW OK AND ON FOR THE YEARS AND DAYS TO COME 
AND EACH MINUTE THERE IS HE SHALL NEVER LEAVE US ALONE. 

FOR THE FAMILY HE LEFT HE LOVED YOU DEAR. 
IF HE COULD, I KNOW HE WOULD WIPE AND TAKE AWAY YOUR PAINFUL TEARS. 

THE SMILE HE HAD, TOUCHED AND INTENSIFIED PEOPLES LIVES. 
AND NOW HE'S AN ANGEL READY TO TAKE OUR PAINFUL CRIES. 

THE SMILE HE HAD WAS LOVING AND TRUE, 

FOR THE DAY HE LEFT 1 FOUND OUT HE BLESSED AND 

MADE A PRAYER GOOD-BYE TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. 

THE SMILE HE HAD WILL NEVER DIE 

IT'S IN OUR HEARTS, OUR MINDS, OUR SOULS, 

IT'S IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE. 

THE SMILE OF JAMES LESLEY HARKINS III 

WILL BE THERE EACH DAY AND NIGHT TIL THE VERY END, 

CAUSE HE WAS MORE THAN A NEPHEW HE WAS ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS. 

CARANDUS T. BROWN 



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II 



First Assembly of God: The Largest Church 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Dana Tompkins 

Fall 2002 



Dana Tompkins 

English 101 

24 November 2002 



Rockford's Largest Church 



First Assembly of God is Rockford's largest church. Opening its first auditorium 
in 1971, the church was ready to seat 1,275 people. As time went by, the church grew, 
along with its twenty-two acres. In 1977, the church added a school, ready to teach 500 
eager students. Still growing in 1988, First Assembly of God held their first church 
service in the new sanctuary for 5,000 people. The balcony was larger than a football 
field. ("Mega Church....") 

The congregation of First Assembly of God in Rockford was formed in the 1930's 
when 10 families began worshipping together. By 1941, the church affiliated with the 
Assemblies of God General Counsel, Springfield, MO and adopted their name. The first 
sanctuary was built in 1950 and it was located at 804 2 nd Ave. In 1952 the church bought 
four acres near State and Alpine, now a site of a fast-food restraunt. By 1967, Rev. 
Eugene H. Whitcomb had taken the pulpit and sparked dramatic changes. He took part in 
the plans to swap the Alpine and State location for 22 acres at Spring Creek and Mulford. 
Twenty more acres were purchased after plans for Christian Life School were discussed 
about. ("From Storefront...") 

Rev. Whitcomb had a dream to provide a Christian habitat for students as well as 
the church congregation. He did not waste time on getting the huge project started. 
Just two years later, in 1969, Rev. Whitcomb attended the ground breaking ceremony for 
the 1,200 seat sanctuary and the adjoining complex of offices and classrooms. After two 



Tompkins - 2 

more years of waiting and planning the construction was done. Rev. Whitcomb made the 
first church service in the new building one to remember. In 1971 had the church 
meet at the Alpine and State location. From there, a caravan of 200 cars drove to the new 
sanctuary. This was symbolic to the congregation to show they were in this move 
together. By 1972, the Kiddie College was done being constructed and opened for the 
church. The elementary school was up and running just one year later in 1973. The 
highschool was not far behind and that is why it was so hard to believe the next tragic 
event. ("Five Killed ....") 

Rev. Whitcomb was dead. The congregation was horrified and confused. How 
could this happen! Rev. Whitcomb, along with three others, were killed when their 
twin- engine plane exploded in the air and crashed into a cornfield. Rev. Whitcomb 
was the actual pilot of the plane. The group of men were returning from Mobridge, S.D, 
where they had been working as missionaries on an Indian Reservation. The plane, a 
Piper Aztec, originally had been scheduled to arrive in Rockford at 2:30 p.m. 
Wednesday. Whitcomb decided that, because of inclement weather, to stop in Austin 
which was his home town. Authorities stated the sky was overcast and a light mist was 
falling at the time of the crash. The Minnesota State Patrol said five of the victims 
apparently were killed instantly in the explosion or crash and the sixth died on the way to 
St. Olaf Hospital in Austin. ("Five Killed..." ) 

First Assembly of God immediately vowed to continue to build their church. 
Although grieve stricken, the church wanted to carry out the Rev's dreams. Rev. 



Tompkins - 3 

Whitcomb had previously mentioned that the church must be able to survive without 
him. The church did in fact continue to grow after the pastor's death. Within seven 
years they had increased their congregation by 1 ,000 members. This does not included 
the many visitors that attend weekly. ("Five Killed. . ." ) 

Christian Life Center School was dedicated to Rev. Whitcomb. His picture still 
hangs in the school's lobby today. First Assembly also built a retirement home next to 
the church. The Christian Life Retirement Center was financed by HUD in 1981 
("From Storefront. ..."). The next changes that took place with the church made it 
possible for them to reach out to more of the community. After five years of planning 
and financing, the "Table for 5,000" was built. First Assembly of God named the 
Sanctuary the, "Table for 5,000" after the story of the miracle of Jesus feeding 5,000 
people with just one fish. The brand new sanctuary held a whopping 5,000 people. The 
huge sanctuary attracted many people to the church. (Mike Tompkins, Personal 
Interview. December 06, 2002) This resulted in many lives being ministered to. One 
person was Mike Tompkins. He has attended the church for eight years. Just one year 
later after attending services, he decided to become a member. Mr. Tompkins chose First 
Assembly for himself and his family because they believe and teach the full Gospel 
including, healing and baptism of the holy spirit. (Mike Tompkins, Personal Interview. 
October 16,2002) 

About four years ago, Mike Tompkins ran for one of the church's position as a 
Deacon. He was voted in by the members of the church and participates in church 
meetings and decisions. The writer, Dana Tompkins, asked Mr. Tompkins how he felt 



Tompkins - 4 

the church was affected by the new school and amphitheater being added on? The new 
school consists of several classrooms, a "state of the art" amphitheater with a sound 
system and movie theater styled seating. Another big feature is the new gym. Coca Cola 
provided the school with a large score board that hangs from the ceiling in the middle of 
the gym. This gives CLC's gym a scoreboard that none of the other gym around here 
have. 

When asked to speculate on future changes to the church, Mike Tompkins had a 
lot to say. He explained, "We need to add on parking space, probably in the form of a 
parking garage. We also need to consolidate staff offices into one building. Right now 
they are spread all over the campus". The church never seems to stop growing. Mike 
Tompkins stated there are about 2,500 people that attend each Wednesday and Sunday 
Services. He also explained that about 1,600 of them are actual church members who 
participate in voting. 

The most recent addition to the church did not come from construction, but from 
many patient prayers. One Sunday, November third, 2002 First Assembly introduced 
their new Sr. Pastor. Pastor Martin will become the official new Pastor that Sunday 
morning. Mike Tompkins has gotten to know Pastor Martin before his grand welcome. 
Mike Tompkins explains that Pastor Martin believes everyone wants to be part of a 
community. He also wants First Assembly to be part of a community of faith, hope 
and love for people from all over Rockford. Although First Assembly has gone through 
many changes, but one thing has always stayed the same, their faith! The church stands 



Tompkins - 5 



even stronger now then ever and still continues to grow, physically and spiritually. 

Construction on the new church sanctuary began July 4, 1986. The building and 
interior has well thought out and symbolic meanings. Sixteen pointed columns represent 
the church goers' love and dependence of God. The deep burgundy carpet is a reminder 
of the blood Christ shed for people's sins. Seven enormous golden chandeliers that hang 
in the opening entry of the church take people back to the book of Revelations, in which 
individual churches are referred to as, "candlesticks". The towel and basin symbol, found 
on the stained glass above the baptistery, remind people they are called to serve God and 
each other. Another frequently repeated symbol is the bread and fish. It appears on the 
pews, platform, choir robes, podium and the carpet ("New Church. ..."). 

The church has four different parking lot entries and five possible exits. Two of 
the entries and exits are located off Spring Creek road. The other entries and three exits 
are found around the corner off Mulford road. It does not matter which parking lot entry 
is used. The parking lot allows driver's to drive all the way around the enormous 
building with out restriction. The parking lot is set up like a shopping mall. The 
sanctuary is the most fascinating part of the enormous church. Standing in front of the 
church the first thing most notice is the large white obelisk pointing to the cross. It stands 
directly in front of the tall, red brick structure holding the perfectly white cross. Both of 
these works of art stand separate from the actual church. Even in the strongest of winds, 
neither one has ever swayed an inch. The tall white structure has been interpreted as a 
finger pointing or praying hands. ("New Church. . .") 



Tompkins - 6 



When walking through the main doors of the church the first thing that catches 
one's attention are the beautiful chandeliers. They are shiny gold and give off a warm 
and inviting light. In the dark they look like bright sparkling stars, shooting off rays of 
light. To the right and left are identical staircases leading up to the balcony. Each stair 
case has about 65 steps. Straight ahead from the front doors are several wooden swing 
doors leading into the enormous sanctuary. To the left and right of the foyer are two long 
hallways that go from one end of the church to the other. It is hard to see the end of each 
hallway, even when standing in the exact middle of the two. Down each hallway is a 
ladies and men's restroom along with matching coat closets. The entire foyer and 
hallways are filled with an "off white" carpeting outlined with royal navy blue. The 
walls are clean white. The church always looks and smells like a clean new car. ("New 
Church...") 

When taking your a step into the sanctuary, there is an overwhelming sensation 
of the color burgundy. The sanctuary is absolutely gorgeous! A large stained glass 
screen above the altar, slides open to reveal a baptistery tank. The glass is as colorful 
as a box of new crayons and glistens when light shines through it. 

The balcony can be accessed from the right or left of the sanctuary by climbing 
the many carpeted steps. These steps are different from the ones in the foyer. They are 
wide apart, leaving room for a long pew on each one. This gives the church a lot 
more room for new members! On the walls to the left and right are huge colorful banners 
hanging in celebration for the Savior. Each wall holds three banners made custom. The 
banners are made out of a shiny metallic material that reflects the light, shooting it across 



H 



Tompkins - 7 
the room like a rainbow. 

Take a seat on stage and look around. The huge open space can be consuming 
when it's dead silent. The softest noise can echo all the way up to the last seat in the 
balcony. This makes for a great place for prayer. ("Mega Church. ..") 



II 



Works Cited 

"Five Killed in Crash." Author Unknown. Rockford Register Star , 12 September 1974 

Rockfordiana Files of the Rockford Public Library 
"From Storefront to Mega Church." Rockford Register Star 23 Aug. 1987. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Mega Church. The First Assembly Boom." Rockford Register Star 26 Aug. 1987. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"New Church is Bigger and Better." Author Unknown. Rockford Register Star , 1 1 

September 1971 Rockfordiana Files of the Rockford Public Library. 
Tompkins, Mike. Personal Interview. 16 October 2002 
Tompkins, Mike. Personal Interview. 21 Octover 2002 
Tompkins, Mike. Personal Interview. 06 December 2002 







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Home is Where the History Is: 

The Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 

Theresa Bellard 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Home is Where the History Is: 
The Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 

Built in 1857, the Hanchett Bartlett Homestead stands today as an important historical 
landmark in Beloit, Wisconsin. The Victorian home is a restored treasure filled with valuable 
history to see and learn about. It is a fun, inexpensive, and interesting place to visit and easy to 
find, located on the far west side of Beloit at 2149 St. Lawrence Avenue (Historic Beloit). 

In the early 1 840s, James Hanchett and his wife Caroline moved to Beloit from Michigan 
by ox cart (Rocha 14A). James was a contractor and builder of dams in Indiana, Wisconsin and 
Illinois, including the first dam built across the Rock Rover in Beloit in 1 844. He also built a 
sawmill in Beloit (National Register of Historic Places 4). 

Caroline and James had also been busy building a family which included ten children. 
They outgrew the stone house which James had built on the corner of School and Prospect 
Streets. They were in need of a larger home ( Hanchett Bartlett Homestead Museum Guide ). 

On the 18 th of June in 1857, Caroline Hanchett purchased a fertile, undeveloped forty-acre 
plot of land on the far west side of Beloit from a man named John Saxby (Rocha 14A). 

The construction of their new house began on their land sometime after June 18, 1857. It 
was completed in 1 858 and the Hanchett family moved into their brand new two-story, limestone 
house. It was a stately and spacious home with eleven rooms (Hatch 15). 

A limestone barn and smokehouse was also built on the property, along with a seven-pot 
outhouse in order to accommodate the needs of their large family (Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 
Museum Guide ). 

James was not only a successful contractor, but he was also a businessman. After moving 
into their new home, troubling times were ahead for the Hanchetts. He had developed a 



Bellard-2 
partnership in which he laid roadbed and rails for a section of the Racine and South Western 
Railroad. He was to be paid from the sale of bonds when the railroad was completed and be 
given the chance to build an extension from Beloit to Galena later. Hanchett had mortgaged the 
homestead and unfortunately, his partners withdrew at the outbreak of the Civil War because the 
bonds could no longer be sold. James lost a sizable fortune (Hatch 16). 

In 1858, Hanchett, his son George, (then 20), and several associates, headed west for the 
Pike's Peak region in Colorado to search for gold, hoping to regain his losses. He was quite 
successful at this venture and returned to the east in 1865 to register his claims. He stopped at 
the homestead on his way east, and died of pneumonia on December 6, 1865, at the age of 52 
(Hatch 16). At the time of his death, Hanchett left his wife Caroline and nine children (a 
daughter, also named Caroline, had preceded him in death) (Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 
Museum Guide ). 

In 1 874, an advertisement appeared in the Beloit Free Press , stating, "Fruit Farm For Sale. 
The fine fruit farm known as the Hanchett Homestead consisting of 40 acres within one mile of 
the City of Beloit is offered for sale. The land is under thorough cultivation and is specially 
adapted to the growing of various kinds of fruit, including over 1 00 cherry trees, a large number 
of grafted apple trees, etc." 

"Excellent dwelling and outbuildings, and a never failing supply of water.". 

"There is also upon the place an extensive stone quarry in excellent working condition" 
("Fruit Farm For Sale" No Page). 

The ad ran in the Beloit Free Press from March through October of 1 874. The attempt to 
sell the farm was unsuccessful. Caroline Hanchett, who never remarried, continued to work the 



Bellard-3 
farm until 1883, when she sold the entire forty acres to her son, Charles, in 1883 (Overview of 
the Beloit Historical Society 1). 

Twelve years later in 1895, at age 51, Charles divided the land into two, twenty-acre 
parcels. One, he sold to Montgomery McNain in 1 895 for $3,600.00. The other he sold to John 
and Lillie Bartlett (brother and sister) on April 10, 1901 for $4,000.00 (Overview of the Beloit 
Historical Society 1). 

It is not known who moved into the house in 1901 . The Bartlett family included nine 
children, with three of the sisters (Mary, Edith, and Lucy Etta) becoming homeopathic doctors. 
Homeopathic medicine uses small quantities of remedies in treatment that in massive doses 
produce effects similar to those of the disease being treated (Homeopathy 630). Homeopathy 
was developed in the late 1 700s (Homeopathy 289). Mary practiced medicine in Beloit. She set 
up her first office as a homeopathic doctor during the years of 1902-1929 and was known as "Dr. 
Mary." She was a familiar figure in town who carried a black medical bag, wore boots, a fur 
coat, a hat, and gloves as she walked along the streets to visit her patients. She devoted her 
medical talent to the rich, the poor and all races of people (Hatch 19). 

It is a known fact that Mary Bartlett and Lucy Etta Bartlett Vaughan lived at the 
homestead in the 1950s. The widowed Lucy Etta had returned to her hometown to help care for 
her ailing sister Mary (Kaiser. No Page). 

By the time Leanna Pride, 88 years old at the time of this writing, came as a care giver to 
the homestead during the 1950s, both sisters were ill and aging. Leanna said, ' l I was treated like 
family by the sisters. They were very kind and generous to me. When my mother was dying, 
they paid for my bus ride to Tennessee so that I could see my mother" (Pride Interview). 



Bellard-4 

Leanna stated, "I cleaned the house, prepared the meals, bathed both sisters, and changed 
their clothes and sheets. At first I cooked with a wood stove, but later Mary and Lucy Etta 
bought an electric stove. I baked them homemade blackberry pie and they also enjoyed eating 
plums and pears" (Pride Interview). 

Leanna, along with her husband and daughter, moved into the old limestone homestead in 
1959 when Mary became bedridden and Lucy Etta was confined to a wheelchair (Pride 
Interview). She and her husband also cared for the lawn, garden, and took care of financial 
matters for the sisters. They also raised chickens at the homestead. Leanna laughed and said, "I 
remember the time when my husband killed a hog and smoked it in the old smokehouse" (Pride 
Interview). 

Mrs. Pride recalled a neighbor named Miss Vance who lived in the house across the road 
from the homestead. She and the Bartlett sisters used to visit with her. Today, this house has 
been replaced by another home (Pride Interview). 

Sometime after 1901, a small sauna was installed in the summer kitchen. Leanna never 
saw Mary or Lucy Etta use the sauna. She was very happy that she didn't have to use the seven- 
pot outhouse because the Bartlett's had already installed a flush toilet upstairs and downstairs by 
the time she came to work there (Pride Interview). 

Mary died at home in 1959 at the age of 88. Lucy Etta also died at home, in 1962, at the 
age of 90. The Bartlett family owned the farm until Lucy Etta's death at which time it was left to 
the Beloit Historical Society along with 1.76 acres of land in 1962. The home was to be used as 
a historical museum and the transaction was finalized in 1968 (Overview of the Beloit Historical 
Society 2). 



Bellard-5 

The home needed painting and electrical work done in 1968. After that was completed, it 
became office space and storage for the Beloit Historical Society until 1983 (Hatch 2). 

Between 1983 and 1988, the restoration process began to return the home to its original 
state from the mid 1850s. The home also received a new roof and was modernized by the 
installation of a furnace and central air-conditioning. Repairs were made to the walls, ceilings, 
floors, chimneys, limestone walls, and the foundation. The walls and floors were scraped down 
to the original colors in order to match the new paint (Overview of the Beloit Historical Society 
2). 

In 1988, the necessary restoration process was completed and part of the home was 
opened for tours (Overview of the Beloit Historical Society 2). The kitchen's restoration project 
began in 1993 and was finished in 1995 (Wehrle 94). Eight rooms of the home have now been 
restored and contain a variety of furnishings and artifacts that date back from the 1850s to the 
1 890s time period. The dishes on the dining room table belonged to the Bartlett family, but 
everything else has been brought in from other places (Hatch 2 1 ). Five back bedrooms remain 
unopened due to the lack of finances to restore them. There are plans to restore these rooms 
when the funds become available (Hatch 33). 

The Hanchett Bartlett Homestead holds many fond memories for Virginia Knutson, 80, 
who has been a docent there for the past ten years. Virginia became interested in volunteering at 
the homestead because she grew up in Beloit in a house very similar to the Hanchett Bartlett 
Homestead. Knutson stated, "I have incorporated stories of my life growing up when I gave 
tours. I have worked with the public most of my life, so I have been very comfortable meeting 
new people and have enjoyed learning from their experiences as well" (Knutson Interview). 



^ 



Bellard-6 
After touring the Victorian homestead with Virginia, this writer has a greater appreciation 
and understanding of what life was like back in the mid to late 1800s for the children and the 
adults. Without the many luxuries of today, life was much harder for them all, but they seemed 
to manage because it was all they knew. They were free from the distractions of television, 
telephone and the computer. Families spent more time together. 

With all the changes that have occurred in Beloit through the years, the Hanchett Bartlett 
Homestead still remains a well-preserved and important historical place in the city. It is a place 
worth visiting where history comes alive again to people of all ages. 




Sign in the front yard on St. Lawrence Avenue 




Aerial View of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 





Southeast view of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 




East side of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead 



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Works Cited 

Aerial View of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Photographer unknown. Acquired from Beloit 

Historical Society pamphlet. Date of photo unknown. 
Barn at the Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Personal photo by the author. September 2002. 
East side of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Personal photo by the author. September 2002. 
Front View of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Personal photo by the author. September 2002. 
"Fruit Farm For Sale". The Beloit Free Press . 12 March 1874. No Page. 
Hanchett Bartlett Homestead Museum Guide . Beloit Historical Society. Pamphlet. No Date. 
Hatch, Loretta. Hanchett Bartlett Homestead Docent Training Manual . Beloit, Wisconsin: 

Beloit Historical Society. 2000. 15, 16, 19, 21, 33. 
Historic Beloit. Beloit Historical Society. Pamphlet. No Date. 
"Homeopathy". The American Heritage Dictionary . 6 th Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin 

Company, 1976. 630. 
"Homeopathy". The World Book Encyclopedia . 8 th Ed. Chicago: Scott Fetzer Company, 

1989. 289. 
Kaiser, Maureen. "Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead". The Beloit Daily News . 5 June 1996. No 

Page. 
Knutson, Virginia. Personal Interview. October 2002. 
National Register of Historic Places. Nomination Form. Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. 11 April 

1977. 4. 
North side of Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Personal photo taken by the author. September 

2002. 



Outside view of Seven-Pot Outhouse. Personal photo by the author. September 2002. 
Overview of the Beloit Historical Society . Beloit Historical Society. June 1988. 1,2. 
Partial Inside View of Seven-Pot Outhouse. Personal photo by the author. September 2002. 
Pride, Leanna. Telephone Interview. October 2002. 
Rocha, Toni. "James Hanchett Builds Saw Mill and City's First Dam". The Beloit Daily News . 

31 August 1999. 14A. 
Sign in the Front Yard at Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Personal photo by author. September 

2002. 
Smokehouse at the Hanchett Bartlett Homestead. Personal photo by author. September 2002. 
Wehrle, Evelyn. "Hanchett Bartlett Kitchen Gets New". The Beloit Daily News . March 1995. 

94. 



1 



Rockford's Great Tannery Hess & Hopkins Leather 

Cluria Tommy Wilson 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 



Fall 2002 





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Rockford's Great Tannery Hess & Hopkins Leather 

Cluria Tommy Wilson 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Cluria Tommy Wilson 
November 24, 2002 
English 101 RRM 



Rockford's Great Tannery Hess & Hopkins Leather 



On the banks of Kent Creek, between School St. and Jefferson St., there once 
stood a barn and a few small cavern-style buildings, used for tanning local leather goods. 
It grew to become the worlds largest tannery, and among the first companies to have a 
complete product process, first tanning the leather hides, then crafting it into a product to 
be sold to the consumer. 

L.M. Hess moved from Center County, Pennsylvania where he was born, with his 
parents, and settled on a farm near Freeport, Illinois, in 1 848 and was educated in public 
schools. In 1862, entered the U.S. Army as a corporal in the 93rd Regiment, Illinois 
Infantry. The regiment joined the Army of the Tennessee and participated in the battle of 
Jackson, Miss., Vicksburg, Champion Hill, Chattanooga, Mission Ridge, Altoona Pass, 
Yazoo Campaign, and was with Sherman in his notable march to the sea. He also 
participated in the Grand-Review at Washington, D.C. Luther Hess left the service in 

1865 as a sergeant and returned to Freeport ("History of the Ninety-Third Regiment"). In 

1 866 , he came to Rockford, and engaged in the making of leather ( Rockford Today ). 

Theodore F. Hopkins, born in western New York, was educated in the public 
schools and Pike, N. Y., Seminary. He moved to Rockford in 1 866 in his teens and 
worked for J.S. Sherman 



Cluria Tommy Wilson 2 

as a bookkeeper in the nursery business. After leaving this employment, he took up the 
nursery business in connection with farming on a tract of land south of town, which he 
had purchased for this purpose. In 1 877, Hopkins exchanged his farm for an interest in 
the tannery business owned by Hess. It included a barn, and a few caverness buildings 
located on Kent Creek (see picture). After Hopkins bought into the tannery, the business 
was materially enlarged. In 1 881, a corporation was formed under the name Hess & 
Hopkins Leather Co. with a capital stock of $50,000 ("Hess & Hopkins Leather 
Company"). The stock was held by the founders and a few friends. 

By 1900, the firm's four-acre, 175,000 square-foot complex at 1 101 Acorn St. 
housed facilities for manufacturing saddles, harnesses, horse collars and other leather 
goods. Within another 1 years, Hess & Hopkins was the world's leading harness 
producers ("Tan Me Hide"). The company employed 450 employees, tanning the hides 
of 300 steers and cows. The old fashioned bark-tanning process annually consumed 6,000 
to 8,000 cords of hemlock bark ("Tan Me Hide"). Bark was ground up, and placed in bark 
leaches to extract or "leach out" the tannin for use of the tan vats, a very important 
process in the tanning of their leather. Hemlock bark arrived by train, from northern 
Wisconsin and Michigan. Favoring the Chicago Packer Hides, hides were shipped by 
train. The hides were placed in liming vats to remove the hair. The first process to making 
leather was to soak, flesh and unhair the hide. This took place in the beam house. From 
there the leather was hung on sticks to dry, the sides turned daily for weeks. The leather 
was then tanned, with the extract of hemlock bark, being a part of the process ( Honest 
Leather ). Hess & Hopkins Leather was known as "Honest Leather" because they 



Cluria Tommy Wilson 3 

used the original style of tanning leather. One interesting item made by them, was called a 
fly-net. "And in case you don't know what a fly-net is. It is a large net made of narrow 
strips of leather, with long fringe around the edges, which was thrown over a house to 
keep the flies from eating him alive". ("Unique Industries Bloomed, Boomed in Early 
Rockford"). 

The company continued to grow. By 1909 - 1910 Hess & Hopkins employed 350 
people with an annual payroll of approximately $200,000. At this point, the tannery, was 
a large brick factory and 6 acres of land with sales world wide. Sears & Roebuck Co. 
purchased half of the saddles made there ("Once Harness King, Firm to Close Shop"). By 
1941, the tannery employed 450 workers operating on a part-time schedule ( American 
Guide Series ). The tannery remained a leader until the start of mechanized farming, and 
the use of tractors. Business dwindled slowly. The end of an era was rapidly approaching 
("Hess & Hopkins Leather Firm Plant Sold"). As car sales soared, the demand for saddles 
and harnesses were in less of a demand. Unable to move from the expensive and 
specialized business into other fields of leather work, Hess & Hopkins became a victim of 
tfte industrial age. 

Arthur T. Hopkins the last of the founders, died in March of 1960 ("Hess & 
Hopkins Leather Company"). The six remaining employees were laid off, some of them 
in their 70s and 80s ("Tan Me Hide"). The plant, which was bordered by School, Maple. 
Lee, and Acorn Sts. and served by two railroads, was put up for sale in 1 960 ("Hess & 
Hopkins Leather Co. Plant Sold"). 

A newly formed corporation, headed by Arty. James W Shelden purchased the 
building, naming it the Hess & Hopkins Center. It is believed to have been purchased for 



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$140,000. ("Hess & Hopkins Leather Co. Plant Sold"). The new corporation planned to 
use the building for light manufacturing and warehousing. Excelsion Leather Washer 
Manufacturing Company bought Hess & Hopkins cup department and worked there until 
room became available in their plant at 720 Chestnut St. ("Harness Firm up for Sale"). 
The buildings housed other businesses for a few years but were ill-equipped for modern 
industry's needs. In 1968, health inspectors and police demanded the buildings be torn 
down because teens were using them to hide while sniffing glue. Ballard Wrecking Co., 
was awarded the job of demolition, however tragedy struck when a wall fell on Bill 
Wagaman, a supervisor for Ballard Wrecking Co. and crushed him ("How About 
Hess & Hopkins Theme for Auburn Beef-a-Roo"). The site of the world's largest tannery 
overlooking Fairgrounds Park is the present day location of Fairgrounds Valley Public 
Housing ("How About Hess & Hopkins Theme for Auburn Beef-A-Roo"). 

The following paragraphs are taken from a letter written by Dorothy Swenson 
Otto. "So one day my father drove me into Hess Bros, on the west side of Rockford to 
order a hand-tooled saddle and outfit of my desire. I recall the smell of the leather and the 
gentleman who asked me all the questions about the order as my dad grinned proudly. I 
remember riding a barred elevator to the "saddle" floor, where many men were employed 
cutting and tooling leather. As we walked in, the odor of the new leather hit my nose. It 
smelled like Gel's saddle room. One thing for sure, it smelled better than Walt's sweaty 
work horse harnesses in the horse barn where the smell of manure also permeated the air. 

We talked to the man in charge. I was allowed to choose the design, a flower- 
figure; the round-square skirt; with only one cinch strap; and the long, pointed flowered 






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Cluria Tommy Wilson 5 

tapideroes. The matching bridle and breast-harness completed the outfit. Wow! Thanks, 
Daddy . Mom took me to Dike's where she bought a new Navajo saddle blanket for me. It 
cost $14.00. My saddle cost Daddy $250.00 " The year was 1949. "When Daddy finally 
brought my saddle home to the farm, I was clearly proud! But mom said, "It smells!". She 
avoided getting close to it again - off or on my horse". Even though Luther Hess and 
Teodore Hopkins are not alive today, the are still living testaments to the fact that hard 
work and effort will produce amazing results. 



II 



Cluria Tommy Wilson 



WORKS CITED 



American Guide Series "Rockford. II." 

City of Rockford, II. (1941) 52. Local History Room Rockford Public Library 
"Harness Firm Up for Sale" 

Rockford Register Star . 2 July. 1960, Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public Library 
"Hess & Hopkins Leather Co. Plant Sold" 

Rockford Register Star . 1 Jan. 1960, Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public Library 
"Hess & Hopkins Leather Company" 

Seventy Years of Progress Rockford 1834 - 1934 63. Local History Room Rockford 
Public Library 

"Hess & Hopkins Leather Firm Plant Sold" 

The Register Republic . 1 September. 1960, Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public 
Library 
Honest Leather pictures, courtesy of Midway Village. 

"History of The Ninety-Third Regiment" Local History Room Rockford Public Library 
"How About Hess & Hopkins Theme for Auburn Beef-A-Roo?" 

Rockford Register Star. 8 Jan. 1961, Midway Village 
"Once Harness King, to Close Shop" 

Register Republic . 1 July. 1960, Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public Library 






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Otto, Dorothy. (Letter courtesy of Midway Village) 

"Rockford Today" 

Rockford Morning Star . 1903 Rockfordiana Files Rockford Public Library 

"Tan Me Hide" 

Rockford Magazine . Jan. 1994, Midway Village. 
Tissandier, de Leon. Atlas of The City of Rockford 

(Rail Road Survey) 1917 County Recorders Office. 



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TRAIN LOAD OF BARK ON OUR SIDE TRACKS 




UNLOADING CHICAGO HIDES FOR THE TANNERY 

The best hides in the world for Harness Leather are Chi- 
cago Packer Hides, which are being unloaded as you see. 





3ARK PILES SHOWING TANNERY IN THE DISTANCE 



LIMING HIDES SO AS TO TAKE OFF THE HAIR 




TOP OF BARK LEACHES 

Into which is conveyed the ground bark so as to extract 
or "leach out" the tannin for the use of the tan vats, a 
very important and interesting process. 





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A GENERAL VIEW OF OUR BEAM HOUSE 

The first process in making leather is to soak, flesh and 
unhair the hide. This is done in this department. Only 
a small portion can be seen in the above view. 





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The first process in tanning after hides leave beam house. 
There sides are changed every day for weeks before lay- 
ing them away in a later process. 




SETTING OUT LEATHER THAT HAS BEEN- STUFFED 



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Page 237 



CHAPERAJOS 




67%. Oil leather, fringed leg. thong sewed, basket 
stamped drop belt. 





No. 068%. Oregon style, oiled leather, with spotted 
wings. Snaps and rings on legs, 
nickel conchas tied in, large inside 
pockets, skirting belt spotted. 



Wo. 69. Brown chrome leather, drab tri 
sewed, basket stamped drop bi 



Page 230 



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No. 34. Iron. XC plated 




No. 36. Full nickel plated. 
No. 37. Full nickel plated, with rubber 
tread. 




No. 48 FENDER can be used on 1. 1 1 
and 1^4-inch stirrup leathers. 
10 x 15-inches. 



SADDLE POCKETS 








No. 60. 7 x Tfe-inches, made of good skirting, 
cut and wheeled. 



No. 61. 8 x 8-inches, made of best stock, cut and 
wheeled. 



No. 62. 8 x 8-inches, full basket stamped, made 
of best stock. 



Page 234 



LEATHER CUFFS HOLSTERS 





No. 82. Hand raised stamped, alternate laced, nickel buckles. 

7-inch only. 
No. 83. Same as No. 82, with adjustable roll at wrist. 



No. 800. Common holster, russet leather, embossed border. 
38-4. 38-5, 38-6. 






No. 805. Ranger, russet leather, slit loops, 
embossed border. 
38-4. 38-5, 38-6. 



No. 8I.O. Ranger, russet leather, slit loops, 
embossed border. 
44-5, 44-6. 44-7%. 



No. 815. S. & W. or Herrington. russet leather, 
full hand raised stamped. 

38-5, 45-6. 






No. 820. Colts, russet leather, full hand raised 
stamped. 
38-4, 38-5. 38-6, 44-5, 44-6, 44-7%. 



No. 825. Colts automatic, russet leather, full 
hand raised stamped, 
32-4, 38-6, 



No. 830. Luger. russet leather, full hand 
raised stamped. 
45-5,145-6. 



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Page 231 



SPUR STRAPS 





No. 52. Russet, plain finish. 



No. 54. Russet, cut and wheeled. 
No. 54. Russet, basket stamped. 
No. 54. Russet, hand raised stamped. 



No. 55. Russet, cut and wheeled. 
No. 55. Russet, basket stamped. 
No. 55. Russet, hand raised stamped. 




No. 56. Russet, cut and wheeled 
No. 56. Russet, basket stamped. 
No. 56. Russet, hand raised stamped. 



No. 57. Russet, cut and wheeled, with nickel 

concha. 
No. 57. Russet, basket stamped, with nickel 

concha. 
No. 57. Russet, hand raised stamped, with 

nickel concha. 



No. 58. Russet, cut and wheeled, with nickel 

concha. 
No. 58. Russet, basket stamped, with nickel 

concha. 
No. 58. Russet, hand raised stamped, with 

nickel concha. 



GATES RUBBER 



Chris Brownlee 
Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 
English Composition I 



*» 



Christopher Brownlee 
English 101 NA1 
09 December 2002 



Gates Rubber & Companies 



The Gates Rubber Company, located at 999 Sandy Hollow Rd. in Rockford, 
Illinois, began its operations in the fall of 1963. The company is known for several of its 
products in the automotive industry like the popular V-belt (fan belt), coolant hoses, tires, 
and much more! Gates Rubber also supplies products associated with heavy machines 
and agriculture equipment ("Gates Opens New Factory Here Oct.l"). 

The very beginning of the Gates Rubber Company takes place in a much earlier 
time period, and different location. In 1911, Charles C. Gates purchased a small shop for 
$3,500, the Colorado Tire And Leather Company located in Denver, Colorado. At the 
time the company was a manufacturer of a product related to automobile tires, not 
knowing the small shop one day would be one of the leading rubber product companies 
in the world ("The Gates Rubber Co. History"). 

The company's success began to take place when John Gates, a brother of Charles 
Gates, in 1917, designed the popular V-belt. The V-belt was made using a combination of 
rubber and fabric making it very strong and durable. It was a big improvement to their 
other rubber-covered flat belt in the 1900s ("Sales in 63 Set Gates Rubber Mark"). In less 
than ten years, it made the company the largest manufacturer of V-belts ("Gates 
History"). 

The company had expanded its products line a great deal in the years that 
followed. By the mid to late 1950s, Gates was a global organization with company 



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openings in 1954 that included Bradford, Ontario, Canada; and in 1958, Gates Rubber 
Mexico ("Gates History"). 

In 1962, the company opened the Galesburg, Illinois plant, which employed about 
6,500 workers. The company also owns plants at Nashville, Tennessee; Brussels, 
Belgium; Wichita, Kansas; and Huntsville, Alabama. In 1963, the company came to 
Rockford, Illinois with plans to build a new facility. On February 08, 1963, Gates Rubber 
purchased 27.02 acres of land from the city, issuing a check for $74,340 completing the 
sale of property located on the city's War Memorial Tract ("170 to 250 Jobs Open At 
Outset"). This was a tract of land occupied during the Civil War, located at Sandy 
Hollow Rd. and 1 1 th Street ("Gates Opens Factory Here Oct.l"). 

The Gates Rubber Company began construction of the new facility, the Power 
Boss Division, a division of its parent company with plans to be completed by the fall of 
1963. The company planned to have 100 to 250 persons employed upon completion of its 
new site. Cost of the new building was estimated to be $450,000 ("Gates Opens Factory 
Here Oct. 1"). 

Meanwhile, Gates had leased the former Sjostrom & Sons building at 1718 7 
Ave. to operate out of during construction and to provide training for key personnel 
("Gates Appoints Managers Here"). 

The new facility would manufacture products in four basic areas: (1) mechanical 
power transmission and control devices; (2) advanced irrigation equipment for home and 
commercial use; (3) tools for the construction industry; (4) and equipment in the 
automotive maintenance field. The products involved brass, and iron couplings (fittings) 
for rubber and plastic hydraulic hoses ("Gates Appoints New Manager Here"). 



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The new plant had about 87,000 square feet of floor space comprising about 
71,000 square feet of floor space, and would be the company's only plant producing 
metal products. The other plant's operations involved tires, hoses, v-belts, and molded 
rubber products ("Expand Gates Firm Plant In Galesburg") ("Gates Opens New Factory 
Here Oct. 01"). 

The first week of manufacturing was in September of 1963, with 24 employees. 
The equipment consisted of two multi-spindled screw machines, and two single spindled 
screw machines. There were three departments: a hose department, a water sprinkler 
department, and a heat treat department used to flame harden the wheel liners for truck 
wheels. In 1964, the company added twelve more multi-spindled screw machines, and 
one single spindled machine ("Gates Rockford History"). 

The writer, a former employee of Gates Rubber, recalls being told that screw 
machines were at one time used to make shells for the large cannons mounted on the 
decks of warships during World War II. These machines are very large and have many 
moving parts. The machines have since been salvaged, rebuilt and modified in order to 
suit the needs of a machine shop. Gates Rubber know uses them today to make the 
hydraulic hose fittings (C. Brownlee). 

The process these parts are involved in are very well thought out and engineered. 
First, it begins with a detailed blueprint design involving all the dimensions of the 
finished part. The type of material used to make the part is also listed on the blueprint. In 
this case material used is steel bar stock 12-foot to 16-foot in length and 3/8* of an inch to 
3 inches in diameter size depending on what the print calls for. The material is then 
loaded into the stock tubes located at the rear of the machine. Then a single bar is fed out 



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into the machining area where one bar at a time becomes into direct contact with the 
tooling entering the first step of 6-8 total before becoming a complete part, with each of 
the eight spindles performing an individual task. Next, it goes through a heat-treating 
process and then crimped onto a hydraulic hose to form the finished product (C. 
Brownlee). 

In 1963, Gates Rubber set a sales record of $166 million. The weekend press 
reported that this was unusual in that the company was family-owned and not required to 
release any figures to the public ("Sales In 63 Set Gates Rubber Mark"). In 1964, the 
press reported that Charles C. Gates Jr., the company's president at the time stated sales 
of $172 million and that the company had doubled its volume every year since 1911 
("Gates Rubber To Operate Freight Firm"). 

Union operated, the company faced difficult challenges during a slow down of the 
economy in 1982. In the spring of 1982, the Gates of Rockford, (The Power Boss 
Division) was forced to move their assembly departments to the Versailles, Missouri 
plant. All but five employees were laid off. The John Deere Company, a customer of the 
Gates Rubber Company, was also forced to lay off their employees (T. Spurlock, 
Interview). 

At this time, the Pontiac, Michigan plant that deals in the same product was still 
going strong, but soon afterwards was too laying off. Tom Spurlock, once employed at 
Gates Rubber for more than thirty years, was one of the five not laid off. He says, 
"Surprisingly, a week after the union was out, somehow the economy was back up, I 
didn't understand it!" At this time the Power Boss Division had just twenty machines 
when they began to call people back to work (T. Spurlock, Interview). 



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By 1983, all screw-machines operators were recalled from the layoff. The 
company acquired four employees from the Stan Aldrich Industry, which too had laid off 
employees, and eight people from the John Deere Waterloo, Iowa plant. (T. Spurlock, 
Interview). In the years that followed, the company has made great improvements since 
their encounters of a slowing economy. 

In 1996, the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tomkins PLC, 
ending 85 years of ownership by the Gates family. At this, time Gates was the largest 
non-tire rubber company in the world (The Gates Rubber Company & Tomkins PLC). In 
1997, the company records showed sales being very strong, and not having a layoff since 
1982 (Gates-Rockford History). 

While company sales continued to climb, the Power Boss Division (Gates- 
Rockford) at 999 Sandy Hollow Rd. underwent additional construction in 1997. Due to 
an increase in customer demands, expansion to its former building was necessary by 
adding a 240' x 240' addition at the rear of the building doubling the existing size (Gates- 
Rockford History). 

The company, no longer an automobile tire manufacturer, has not steered away 
from the industry. In fact, under the new ownership, Gates has acquired much more 
business in the automotive industry. The company Formed-Fibre Product Inc., a wholly 
owned subsidiary, provides automotive makers with original equipment like trunk liners 
and interior panels. The Stant companies, whose product line includes thermostats, heater 
cores, power steering hose assemblies, hose clamps, and wiper blades; Trico Products 
Corporation, also joined the Gates manufacturing team in 1997. In 1998 Schrader- 
Bridgeport was acquired, a world leader in the manufacturing of fluid control 



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components, transportation wheel valves and other related products (Gates Rubber 
Company History) 

The Gates Rubber Company is very well known in the manufacturing industry 
around the world, with a very competitive product. If you would like to obtain any of 
them you can visit one of the two local distributors, Motion Industries Inc. in Rockford, 
Illinois (Gates Rubber Company History). 






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Works Cited 

"170 to 250 Jobs Open at Outset." Rockford Republic 17 Jan. 1963. 

Brownlee, Christopher. Employee. 06 Jan. 1997- 
"Gates Appoints Managers Here." Rockford Register Star 10 Feb. 1963. 
"Gates Rubber Company & Tomkins PLC" Gates home page \pp. 27 Sept. 2002 

<hppt://www. gates. com>. 
"Gates Celebrates 30 Years" Rockford Register Star 13 Nov. 1993 13a 
"Gates Gives City Check For Property." Rockford Register Star 08 Feb. 1963. 
"Gates Names New Plant Chief Here." Rockford Republic 08 Nov. 1963. 
"Gates Opens New Factory Here Oct. 1 ." Rockford Register Star 01 Sept. 1963. 
"Gates Plant Here To Open Oct. 1" Rockford Register Star 02 Sept. 1963. 
"The Gates Rubber Company History" Gates home Page 3pp. 27 Sept. 2002 

<hppt://www. gates. com>. 
"Gates Rubber Promotes 2 Palmers." Rockford Republic 09 Oct. 1968. 
"Gates Rubber To Operate Freight Firm." Rockford Register Star 30 Apr. 1965. 
"Gates Rockford History." Gates Rubber Co. 21 Feb. 2001. 

Rogers, Cathy. "Gates Rubber To Expand Rockford Plant" Rockford Register Star 04 
Jun. 1983. 
"Sales In '63 Set Gates Rubber Mark." Rockford Register Star 24 Mar. 1964. 

Spurlock, Tom. Personal interview. 30 Oct. 2002. 
Picture #1 three multi-spindled screw-machines in new building. 
Picture #2 some steel frame work of the new building beginning construction. 



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Picture #3 far shot, of frame work same as #3. 

Picture #4 the rear south-east corner of building, before construction. 

Picture #5 rear of building, south side. 

Picture #6 rear south-west corner of building, mid-construction of new addition. 

Picture #7 (ACME) multi-spindled screw-machine. 



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STANDING FIRM: 
THE GRAHAM-GINESTRA HOUSE 



Crystal Lake 
Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 
English Composition I 



Crystal Lake 
English 101 RRM 

November 19, 2002 

Standing Firm 
Graham-Ginestra House 

The Graham-Ginestra House has withheld Mother Nature for over a hundred years. 
Freeman Graham knew the kind of work needed to build such a fine house. The hard part was 
building the house while running multiple factories. This home is just as much a treasure to 
Rockford now as it was in the past. Graham built a house that gives ancestors and visitors, both 
young and old, a taste of what life was like for the Graham family. 

On October 11, 1806, Graham was born in Sainsbury, Connecticut. While he was passing 
his days in a native land, he often dreamed of moving away and opening his own business (Burns 
1072) . It is known that children were not allowed to play in the fields, especially when there were 
workers who were working in the fields (Burns 1072). 

While spending his days on the farm, Graham received a common school education. He 
served an apprenticeship for seven years in making cotton and woolen machines (Burns 1073). Since 
Graham was majoring his areas of study on the machines, he became a practical machinist. In 1854, 
he met Charles Walker, a businessman (Burns 1073). Walker was a sleek businessman from 
Chicago. Curious, Graham met with Walker and was offered a job immediately to work at his 
business in Beloit. Graham, of course, was flattered at the chance to work in a large factory. Upon 
being offered the job, he shook Walker's hand and said he would be willing to leave that day (Bums 



Lakc-2 

1073). 

After two years of running the business in Beloit, Graham was offered an even better position 
at a factory located in Rockford. Mr. Emerson, who owned the business, was actually interested in 
Mr. Graham for some time. When Graham met with Emerson and discussed possible options, they 
came to an agreement. Walker told him that he would be working fewer hours and he would be paid 
an even higher salary than he was receiving at the time (Burns 1073) . Mr. Emerson mentioned that 
he ran a chain of cotton mills in Rockford and wanted Graham to run them for him. Of course, he 
was flattered, so he took the offer. The only problem with leaving the factory in Beloit was leaving 
Mr. Walker, who helped Graham become the businessman that he was known to be (Burns 1072). 
As they said their good-byes, Graham left on horse and buggy for a long trip to Rockford (Burns 
1073). 

Upon arriving to Rockford, not only were the horses tired, but Graham and his family as well. 
Stopping in front of the factory, Graham saw the sign that said "Talcott &. Company". Under that 
there was another smaller sign that said "Manager Freeman Graham" (Burns 1073). He dropped to 
his knees in tears when he saw these signs. All his life he wanted to see his name on a company sign. 
He then spoke to Mr. Emerson to ask what his job entitled. Emerson mentioned that as a manager 
he watched over the manufacturing of farm implements (Burns 1072). Freeman then told his wife 
it was time to build a home. 

Searching for the right land, Graham noticed that he was being referred to as a businessman, 
who was both enterprising and progressive (Burns 1073). In fact, Graham was offered a position as 
part owner of "Talcott & Company", which made him a man of high status (Burns 1073). As he 
searched for the land while working, he found the perfect land located on South Main. This lot was 






Lake-3 
just what he wanted. He immediately drew up designs that would make this house a monument to 
Rockford (Burns 1073). The designs were simple and elegant. They had the modern design of 
Italian and Greek. He planned to have his home become the stepping stone to modern style. 

With modern style came William Morris, an English American with expensive taste. He used 
modern style stenciling with tedious designs. Morris manufactured textiles and wallpaper which were 
designed for raddle and upper class (Barrett Interview) . Graham knew that money was not an object 
and that he would have the most beautiful designed home, even if it was the most expensive for the 
1800s. 

The design, however, was not popular before the Civil War. His home had brass plaque on 
the outsides of the walls. The home was rectangular in shape (Barrett Interview). The roof was 
made of tile gables. This kept the sun's heat from making the house warm. The home was two- 
storied, which created enough room for entertainment. The foundation was made of one-foot 
dolomitic limestone blocks. This kept the house colder in the summer and warmer in the winter 
(Barrett Interview). 

The exterior of the home also had a barn for the horses. The location had to be perfect, so 
he decided that in the rear of the home, but still in walking distance, was perfect. The home should 
also have a square cement block over the limestone. This block collected the rain water (soft water) , 
which was used for bathing and laundry (Barrett Interview) . Graham also wanted the home to have 
an extra shed, in case he needed a little more space for something else. 

With so many things outside the home, Graham needed to work on the details of the interior 
of the home. The home had two sets of stairs. One stairway was at the front of the home leading to 
the bedrooms. The other stairway was in the rear of the home, near the kitchen/dining room, leading 



Lakc-4 
to the attic (Schmeltzer Interview). Graham thought about the design and decided he needed 
something else. He thought he needed an entry way used for entertaining. Graham would never 
have entertained in a room without a fireplace, so he decided to have a fireplace in the room. The 
sliding doors closed the room off creating a room filled with heat (Barrett Interview). 

The home took a little more than six months to create (Schmeltzer Interview). It was the 
perfect spot for his family to grow up. It had enough space for friends, pets and, most important, 
family. Upon finishing the home, Graham stood back and looked at his design. Yes, this was, in fact 
the perfectly designed and crafted home. He wanted to make sure that this was the perfect place to 
raise his family. He wanted to make sure his home could be handed down from generation to 
generation. It was going to be a site to see in Rockford. Now, the only thing that troubled Graham 
was the location. 

The location of the Graham-Ginestra House on S. Main still maintains its purpose, as one 
of Rockford's main streets. With galloping horses or speeding cars one still gets from one end of town 
to the next. The business aspect exceeds expectations. Men and women, young and old, still drive 
down S. Main to see the stores and restaurants that have thrived through all the years. The building 
structures of each business remain the same style and appearance. The Capitol Theater still has four 
faces imprinted into its design on the exterior wall. The Graham home has managed to maintain its 
style as well as each and every business on S. Main (Barrett 1). 

The layout of the home has remained true to the Italian and Greek style, rectangular with 
designs that stand firm for the culture. The modern styles and designs of the home have always kept 
up with the fast pace of modernization in the cultures over seas (Barrett 1). What was known as a 
step above modern in the late 1800s is now a step above for the new millennium. The common 



Lake- 5 
design for a home in Rockford is more along the lines of a square. However, if one visits the location 
of the Graham-Ginestra House on S. Main, the homes are more rectangular. 

The Graham's home had always served as a home for the family. It maintained love and 
tradition through many years. After the Ginestra family purchased the home, it maintained its 
feeling of warmth and security. Having only been owned by two families since 1857, it is noticeable 
that the home has been filled with love (Schmeltzer Interview). Since the Ginestra family bought 
the home from the Graham family in the 1900s, they felt from that moment the house should revive 
and sustain the Italian culture (Barrett 2) . Hence the name Graham and Ginestra, one cannot help 
but notice the connection to the Graham-Ginestra House. 

With having only two families in the home, it is hard to deny the fact that the home has 
undergone changes from one family to the next. Unused factories and abandoned buildings have 
been torn down and new ones built. The property has been reconstructed and redesigned to fit with 
the changing times ("Graham-Ginestra House") . New buildings mean new visitors. The well-known 
cultural clash of Italian and Swedish began. The Swedish moved in and the Italians moved out. 

Reconstruction of the exterior was done to compete with the Swedish style. The Swedish 
put in a flower bed, and the Italians put in a garden. Starting with the exterior of the home, there 
was a 10-year project to restore and landscape the home ("Graham-Ginestra House"). In 1989, the 
Men's Garden Club of Rockford installed underground sprinklers and stone benches. These stone 
benches were located around the garden. These benches were dedicated to each of the founders of 
Rockford (Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake and Lewis Leman) (Schmeltzer Interview). 

The home has also had an addition to the west end of the home with a summer kitchen. This 
kitchen was added by the Graham family after the original home was built (Barrett Interview). 



Lake-6 

However, shortly after its construction it was changed into a garage and utility room. Another minor 
change to the home included the repairs done on the white picket fence that imprisons the home. 
There were stone pillars and new wood used to repair damage over the years (Barett 1). 

A landmark of the home and its garden is the gazebo. This gazebo was built'in the early 
1900s. Dedication and thank-you plaques were added to inform guests of the many people that 
helped over the years (Barrett "Grounds and Garden"). Also in the 1900s when the gazebo was being 
built, the roof was restored. The roof was built with dolomitic stone privy made of copper. 

In the 1980s, $100,000 was spent on maintenance and restoration (Schmeltzer Interview). 
This included the garden and the home. A large portion of this money was used on the interior of 
the home. For example, a large portion was used to reconstruct the murals that had aged with time. 
These murals were located on the ceiling in the sitting room. Much time and effort went into finding 
the right paint to match. However, one can have the right paint, with the wrong artist. Finding a 
great artist took up a larger portion of time and money (Schmeltzer Interview) . 

With all the construction and restoration, one person is to thank for her time and efforts. 
Mrs. Theresa Ginestra-Schmeltzer is the owner of the home and responsible for the changes it has 
undergone. The Rockford area residents owe her a thank-you for her time, effort, and decision to 
keep this site as a historic monument. The Graham-Ginestra House lets both young and old get a 
taste of tradition mixed with early and modern culture. All these details and facts are readily 
available to curious residents at the click of a mouse. One can visit the website and hear a vivid 
description of the home, both interior and exterior. Although vivid, these descriptions do not even 
come close to the site of the actual home. 

Upon speaking with Theresa Ginestra-Schmeltzer, Crystal was informed of details that have 



■ 



Lake-7 
become a shock to her research. For example, the $ 100,000 that had been granted for restoration 
and reconstruction to the home, in the 1900s, was a shock. Theresa also mentioned that the home 
is used to preserve the history of Rockford. It gives modern families the chance to see what great 
architectural work has been done (Schmeltzer Interview). "It is important to preserve our past, 
including but not limited to a reconstruction of a roof or garden. The reconstruction must also 
include the inner person." 

The Graham-Ginestra House has managed to keep up with surrounding buildings, Mother 
Nature, and changes over the years. Although major changes have occurred around the home, it has 
managed to withstand minor changes in the home. Because it is a treasure to Rockford, one cannot 
help but realize and appreciate its value now as much as before. Graham built a house that gives 
ancestors and visitors, both young and old, a taste of what life was like for the Graham family. 



• 



Works Cited 

Barrett, Bill. Interview on September 22, 2002. 

Barrett, Bill. "Graham-Ginestra House Information Grounds and Gardens" 

Burns, Mr. and Mrs. Clement. Portrait & Biographical Record of Winnebago and Boone Counties 

Illinois. Biography Publish Company; Chicago, 1892. 
Chandelier Located in Sitting Room. Photo by Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2000. 
Dolomitic Limestone View of the Home from the Side. Photo by author, September 18, 2002. 
Fore-Fathers Dedication Plaque. Photo by author, September 18, 2002. 
Front view of Graham-Ginestra House. Photo by Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2000. 
Front View of the Gazebo. Photo by author, September 18, 2002. 
Garden with benches located outside the home. Photo by author, September 18, 2002. 
Ginestra-Schmeltzer, Theresa. Interview on October 29, 2002. 

"The Graham-Ginestra House" 1115 South Main Street, Rockford, IL 61 101. Website 
Memory Plaques Located on the Gazebo. Photo by author, September 18, 2002. 
Sitting Room with Chandelier Hanging Above. Photo by Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 

2000. 
Stain-glass Window Located in Stairway. Photo by Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2000. 
Stairway Located at Front Entrance with Stain-glass Window. Photo by Illinois Historic 

Preservation Agency, 2000. 



ham-Ginestra House 



S. Main St., Rockford, Illinois 




,.„.#p, 



This is a photo of the 
Grahrri'Ginestra House 
before reconstruction 
took place. 



(Right) This chandelier, located in 
the sitting room, allows visitors to 
view the four faces painted on the 
ceiling. 




(Below) Located above the staircase, 
this stained-glass window is one of 
the beautiful sights to see. 




(Above) Tea and coffee are perfect 
for this entertainment room. 



(Right) Behind these visitors, this 
staircase has become a treasure to 
this home. 





ght) This dedication gazebo 
Is for a much needed rest spot. 



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Dedicated 

" "'sTrT7TT bCkf0rd Illinois 
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(Left) These plaques allow Rockford 
residents to acknowledge the 
founders of Rockford. 



(Right) These plaques are found on 
the gazebo to honor residents, friends, 
and family that had an impact on 
the Graham-Ginestra House. 




A 




Supporting the United States, the 
Graham-Ginestra House proudly 
shous its patriotism. 



Filled uith all kinds of flowers, 
this garden is a treasure to the 
South side of the home. 




Hononegah in the Making 



By: 

Dan Lensing 



English Composition, Rock Valley College 
Fall 2002 



*lfc • - 



A 



Dan Lensing 

English 101 

18 November 2002 



History of Hononegah High School 



V. 



1 I 



Aerial view of Hononegah High School 

One thing that many people do not know about the Rockton community, is that 
Hononegah High School was built in 1922. Before the high school was opened in 1923, 
classes were held in the upper level of the Rockton Grade School (Lotz 7). The first 
graduating class of Rockton was in 1921 and consisted of only eight students (Shupien). 
Those first eight students got their accredited education on the second floor of the grade 
school. A temporary school was constructed to house the kindergarten and first grade 
students that lost their classrooms to the high school students (Lotz 7). 

The school board had a tough decision to make: a location for the new high 
school. They had a few of spots in mind. One was Hononegah park that is located 
between Rockton and Roscoe. Besides Hononegah Park, the school board had a site in 
mind that was across the road from the Rockton Grade School in an empty field. The 
school board left it up to the town to decide where the new high school was going to be. 
The towns of Roscoe and Rockton voted, and were in favor of the site across the road 



Lensing- 2 

from the Rockton Grade School. It is four miles off of Interstate 90 on the Rockton Rd. 
exit. It was a rational decision because of all the advantages of building it there. Some of 
the advantages were that it would be near electric, fire protection, water mains, and it was 
a short haul for coal (Plans of Proposed). 

The Rockton School District was concerned, because the Roscoe, Rockton area 
did not have an accredited high school (Lotz 7). Kids were going to high school in 
nearby towns such as Beloit and Rockford to further their education. Nearby school were 
not going to let students from other communities attend their school any longer. After 
1920, Beloit High School was not going to allow any more students into their school. 
Rockford high schools were having overcrowding problems of their own ("WHY"). That 
led to the vote of having a 4-year accredited high school. The people of the community 
thought that they might as well have a high school so that they would not have to pay a 
non-high school tax anymore. There were no known obstacles during the construction of 
the building. Hononegah High School still presides in the original building. The 
building does not look like it did originally. It has had several additions since then that 
has hidden the original building (Walsh). 

The most important people involved in the construction of the high school were 
members of the Rockton School Board. They realized the need for the accredited high 
school and made it happen. The building would have been built sooner, but the bids on 
the construction of the school were higher than they would have liked to see. Six months 
later they asked for bids again and were much more optimistic with the prices they 
received. The citizens of Rockton and Roscoe were also important because without their 
favorable votes there would not have been a high school. The most important person in 



A 



Lensing- 3 

the actual construction of the building was Ross Beckstrom, the contractor, of Rockford 
(Walsh). 

The contracts were finalized on November 3, 1921, and the erection of the 
building was started. It was not ready for occupancy until February 12, 1923 (Lotz 7). 
Ross Beckstrom built the then-modern facility for one hundred and ten thousand dollars. 
Many showed their acceptance of the new high school by attending its monumental grand 
opening (Walsh). 

Hononegah High School represents the Rockton and Roscoe communities well as 
a symbol of growth, development, and expansion. The need for the school became 
evident to a few and changed the life for many. It looks modem on the outside of the 
school now in the twenty-first century, but in the middle of the newer rooms and halls 
lies the original Hononegah High School that was built in 1922. 

After the completion of Hononegah High School, the school's attendance 
flourished as the years passed. This was because of the rapid growth, and the expansion 
of the Rockton and Roscoe communities, therefore, resulting in a further need to expand 
the school. 

In 1923, the building was located across the street from the old Rockton Grade 
School. The original building was constructed in a rectangular shape. It was a two-story 
concrete and steel structure, skinned with brown bricks. The school had an auditorium, 
gymnasium, and nine classrooms. The building was well large enough to support the 
enrollment of sixty students its first year. It was lined with windows on all sides 
("Hononegah History"). The school served as the high school for the Rockton and 
Roscoe communities. It also held the grade school for a year. The old grade school 



Lensing- 4 



burned to the ground in 1931 and a new one was built at the same location. While they 
were waiting for their new school to be built, they held classes in various locations 
throughout the high school. Grades three, four, five, and six were held in the auditorium 
and then moved to the newly renovated "horse bam" (Lotz 8). 

Through the years, Hononegah, has been expanded several times to accommodate 
for the increasing growth to the surrounding communities. Some time during the 1950s, 
a second story addition was constructed into the library. Along with the addition was a 
chemistry lab and new classrooms. "Kelsey Field", Hononegah's football field, was 
constructed and dedicated. George Kelsey was a former teacher and coach. In 1958, the 
gymnasium was built and more classrooms added on the southeastern side of the 
building. The old gymnasium was where the present lunchroom and study hall resides 
now. hi the 1960s Hononegah was in need of more athletic facilities. The school then 
added a gym-like facility called, "the metal gym". It is called this because it is a steel 
erected attachment with aluminum siding. 1973 led to the construction of the industrial 
arts portion of Hononegah. This is where auto tech and wood shop is held. A few years 
later they made an area for home economics. The school was affected by growth in the 
early 1980s. Once again, more classrooms needed to be built. They constructed the 
addition in 1986. In 1994, Hononegah made a large expansion. Their largest addition yet 
consisted of the Performing Arts Center, library, classrooms, and district office 
("Hononegah History"). 

A few years ago, into the new millennium, the school board had to decide what to 
do about the overcrowding once again. They decided to expand. According to Jason 
Stook, Hononegah needed to build the dome to accommodate for the four years of 



A 



Lensing- 5 

physical education the state is now requiring. Hononegah High School is the first public 
school in Illinois to build an athletic dome. It is extraordinary, but also a target for 
vandalism. A short while after it was built someone sliced into the side of it. Being 
pressurized as much as it is, it had no effect on the dome (Stook). Now that the 3.2 
million dollar dome is complete, other additions are taking place. 







nh0£ 



The construction of classrooms in the old courtyard. 



Guidance offices are being built north of the cafeteria, and a new technical area is being 
built for the computer-aided classes. At the south side of the building, near the gym, 
more classrooms and new locker rooms are being built (Dantuma). All these are factors 
resulting from the quickly growing communities. This leads to others finding new 
solutions to the overcrowding. From the alumni class of 1990, Teresa Connely thinks 
Roscoe should build their own high school. Both communities have flourished so much 
in the past two decades that each has a large enough population to house their own high 
school. 



Lensing- 6 

When the school was first built, it consisted of nearly sixty students; now there 
are over 1,800. When alumni come back for their class reunions they see how much the 
school has changed physically. On the average of every ten years the school makes an 
addition onto the building. The original school that was built in 1923 is barely visible 
through the new additions. The school serves as a symbol of the Rockton and Roscoe 
communities. It just shows how much the towns have grown in the past eighty years. 



Lensing- 7 



Works Cited 
Coiinely, Teresa. Personal interview. 31 Oct. 2002. 
Dantuma, Tim. Personal interview. 1 Nov. 2002. 
Hononegah courtyard construction. Photographer unknown. Acquired from 

www.hononegah.org . 7 October 2002. 
Hononegah High School aerial view. Photographer unknown. Acquired from 

www.hononegah.org . 16 January 2001. 
"Hononegah History". Rockton School District Office 31 Oct. 2002. 
Lotz, Bessie Harmon. History of the Rockton Grade School District NO. 13 Rockton: 

1965. 
"Plans of Proposed." The Rockton Herald 22 April 1920. 
Skupien, Dan. "Times have changed at Hononegah High School." The Rockton Herald 

17 April 1985. 
Stook, Jason. Personal interview. 25 Oct. 2002. 
Walsh, R.K.. "Ho-no-ne-gah Community High School." The Rockton Herald 

8 Feb. 1923. 
"WHY." The Rockton Herald 8 Jan. 1920. 



Come One, Come All, There's Always Room at the Lafayette Hotel! 

Banita Bevineau 

English Composition, Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Banita Bevineau 
English 101 RRM 
10 December 2002 

The Lafayette Hotel Is a Work of Heart 

Changing with the times did not mean a change of heart at the Lafayette Hotel. In 
1927, the city of Rockford, IL. was graced with the presence of a man by the name of 
Max Liebling with a vision to add delight to a piece of the pie. 

Immigrating from Austria in 1910, Max and his brothers relocated to New York City. 
There his occupation was as a window washer. As business flourished, Max and his 
brothers decided to open their own window washing company. With the money made and 
saved after three years they once again relocated to Rockford,Il. where he then began to 
take interest in land development(Turpoff 87). 

The Lafayette Hotel was one of his first projects in the city, built from ground up from 
the design of an architect by the name of Paul Lewin" (The Invitation. . .)". Max and his 
entourage of skilled craftsman began what is still a mark in the community today. The 
construction was done by the Security Building Company(147). Other specialty 
contractors, included the Putney Brothers who were in charge of the excavating. Roofing 
was done by David Carlson Company and the wiring was installed by Rockford Electric 
Company as well as a number of many other contributing to the success of the hotel 
(147). 

With the purpose of having a wonderful experience each time one was a guest of the 
Lafayette, the cost of building the hotel was not an issue. Max Liebling spent well over 
$ 500,000 on this project alone. This included the exterior and the interior. One of the 
main attractions was the entrance lobby decorated in gold and old rose with a beautiful 



Bevineau- 2 

green slate floor. The trimming was that of French walnut and Louis XIV furniture was 
imported from France (147). The exterior walls were glazed Terra cotta tile 
and stone with a Spanish motif (Jones). Because of its beauty, the hotel expressed her 
exquisiteness on several tour guides of the city. 

Many enjoyed the status the name alone held on its own. Some of the most recognized 
citizens of the country lodged there at one time or another. The First Lady of the land, 
Eleanor Roosevelt, graced the hotel with her presence as she promoted racial equality, 
and women's rights within the city of Rockford( Jones). If one was of any importance in 
1927, the Lafayette was the place to stay. 

From the beginning of its birth the hotel has accommodated the elite. Anything one 
could imagine was right in hands reach. For the convenience of the guests there was an 
in-house barber shop to get the day started with a refreshing clean shave or arching of 
the eyebrow for the ladies. Another attraction in the hotel was the Mandalay Lounge 
where marriage ceremonies were performed. Also for those interested in an elegant 
evening of fine dining the Spanish Room was well equipped to serve them with the 
five-star service an delicious entree' s(Combs). 

The Lafayette Hotel was and is a remarkable place to be even today. Although 
there have been some additions to the service the hotel provides, it is still in the business 
of catering to the needs of people ,whether it is helping the elite or the less 
fortunate (Combs). Changing with the times is the a message well taken with all of the 
different programs they now provide. They are involved in contributing to several 
different charities such as: the jail ministry, shelter care, housing and protection for 
domestic abuse victims and shelter for those in need of emergency assistance from a 



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Bevineau- 3 

surprise mishap. At any time one may find themselves in a time of despair and clueless 
to how they will even make ends meet. Sadly, a lot of those times young children are also 
involved and despite the situation the Lafayette welcomes the families, provide shelter, 
keep a open ear for employment opportunities if necessary and assist in any activities that 
help the new found family member get on their feet to the road of success. 

In its original location and only very few changes of space the hotel that once had at 
least five banquet rooms and 120 residential rooms has now found other resources for 
the spaces of the Mandalay Lounge and the Spanish room. Where what was once known 
as the Spanish Room, is now a bar and grill known as Swilligans Pub. Many go to 
Swilligans Pub to unwind and relax after a long day. It is still adjacent to the Lafayette 
Hotel, which allows the now clientele to step out on the town without far travel. 

The Mandalay Lounge has become a part of the development of apartments. There are 
now 25 apartments , 41 rooms and two banquet rooms(Combs). Even though the 
Mandalay Lounge is gone, there is still a Mandalay Room that offers the same services as 
before: wedding ceremonies and anniversary parties. The apartments, however, are of 
greater need due to the cost and credit issues one faces today applying for housing. 
The Lafayette Hotel has the attitude "there is always room for one more" (Combs). 

The going rate for a room for one night was only two dollars, in the year of 1927. 
Today the average room is 35 dollars per night, which allows one still to have money for 
extracurricular activities. There are still many things one can nearby. It is not just a place 
for the unfortunate. People are still allowed to stay there when just passing through. It's 
just that the Lafayette has expanded its service to a broader range of people all of them. 

Not just a certain class anymore, everyone is important and in their own right, elite. 



'" . ' ■■ * - ' .. '~ m ^~ mmm 






Bevineau- 4 

It is great to know that there are still places in this city that do unto others as done to 
unto them. Helping people is their business and they are doing a fine job of providing 
their calling. 

A home is what some consider the Lafayette; they have been there for years. At least 
long enough to see some of the staff start from childhood and develop in to manhood in 
which now they have acquired a bond with one another. Just like the average family they 
all love and protect one another as if they were biological. It is a trust that cannot be 
broken. To have that feeling of love, respect and trust in spite what is in one's wallet or 
what one's bank statement says soothes the soul. It makes one know they are accepted 
for who they are and is just as important as who society has labeled to be of a better class. 

In the end, it is all the same. What was once built to serve and better the elite 
community, still stands to serve and better the community. This time it is for any and 
everyone that choose to spend even one evening at the Lafayette Hotel. 



Works Cited 

Combs, Arthur. Son of manager. Personal Interview 10-28-02 

Combs, Arthur. Son Of Manager. Telephone Interview 10-28-02 

Jones, Leroy. Collection of Personal Thoughts. 1991 

Turpoff, Glenn. They Too Cast Shadows . Published by Northern 111. Building Contractor 

Association 2002. 
"The Invitation to the Public to Inspect the Lafayette Hotel". Morning Star Newspaper 
6-2-27. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 



-■V. 



ThelastofRockford's "Old Red Carpet Hotel's" 








mye//e 







ROCKFORD 

ILLINOIS 





Serving the Rockford community 24 hours a day for the past 75 years. 
Providing daily rates - weekly rates - residential rates - commercial 
space - banquet facilities - cocktail lounge and restaurant. 

Located in the Heart of Rockford near Metro Centre, Coronado, Library, 
Restaurants, Court House, Federal Bldg., Safety Bldg., & 1/2 Block 
From The Downtown Bus Station. 



4 1 1 Mulberry St. Phone 815-964-5651 Rockford, Illinois 61101 



Hotel Lafayette, 



Rockford, 1" 




Works Cited 

Combs, Arthur. Son of manager. Personal Interview 10-28-02 

Combs, Arthur. Son of manager. Telephone Interview 10-28-02 

Turpoff, Glenn. They Too Cast Shadows . Published by Northern 111. Building Contractor 

Association 2002 

"The Invitation to the Public to Inspect the Lafayette Hotel". Morning Star Newspaper 

6-2-27. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 

Jones, Leroy. Collection of Personal Thoughts. 1991 



THE BIRTH AND DEDICATIONS OF 

JULIA LATHROP ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 

MARIA G. RODRIGUEZ 

ENGLISH COMPOSITION, ROCK VALLEY COLLEGE 

FALL 2002 



Maria G. Rodriguez 
English 101 Sec. RRM 
26 November 2002 

Lathrop's Dedications 

Lathrop Elementary School would have never been built if it were not for the 
"Baby Boomers." It was the most fertile period in U.S. history: 76 million babies were 
born between 1946 and 1964. More than four million babies were born in America each 
year for 1 1 straight years ("Baby Shower"). The need for more schools was very high. 

On September 18, 1956, the Rockford School Board decided to place before the 
voters a proposal for a $5,650,000 bond issue for buildings, renovations, land purchases, 
and a request for a twenty-two cent increase in the educational tax rate to fund the new 
schools. That program provided for a new junior high school and three elementary 
schools ("Sound Proposal"). One of those schools would soon be Lathrop Elementary 
School. 

In the spring of 1957, the Rockford Board of Education reached the decision to 
have three identical grade schools built, using the same plans. Each school was to have 
22 classrooms, a gymnasium, a library, and office suites. The goal was to have at least 
one wing of each school ready for the start of the school year in 1958 ("Same Plans"). 

The schools were very crowded in Rockford, IL. Many more schools were being 
built to accommodate all the students. While the outside planning organization was 
casting its spell, the Board scurried about calling for architectural plans for new schools 
and making land-purchase deals ("Sound Proposal"). 



Rodriguez 2 

Parent-Teacher association leaders were asked to submit suggestions for naming 
the new schools. One of the recommendations was to name one of the schools Julia 
Lathrop ("Same Plans"). That school would soon be built on Ogilby Rd. 

Work on the school began in the summer of 1957. The new school was designed 
to accommodate 660 students in 22 classrooms. The architect was Hubbard and Hyland 
and this would be the first time the Board of Education built three schools from the same 
plans. By using the same plans, the Rockford Board of Education would save $258,000. 
Each school was to cost approximately $679,951 to build ("Board Lets"). 

Construction details for the initial construction of Lathrop School were as 
follows: John A. Gustafson Construction Company at $397,507; Rockford Plumbing and 
Heating Company at $58,989; Zimmerman Electric Company at $39,125; Park Plumbing 
and Appliance Company at $37,936; Paul Isler at $16,000; other cost estimated at 
$128,600 for a total cost of $678,157 to have the school built and furnished ("Board 
Lets"). 

The Rockford School Board named the three new grade schools on November 13, 
1957. The School Board unanimously approved committee recommendations for names 
for the three new grade schools. When completed, the Ogilby Rd. grade school was 
named Julia Lathrop Elementary School. The resolution naming the grade schools listed 
brief biographies of the persons honored ("Trustees Name"). 

Julia Clifford Lathrop (1858-1932), was born in Rockford, II. and educated in the 
Rockford Public Schools. Lathrop was the first chief of the Children's Bureau of the 
United States Department of Labor and became the first woman to head an important 
U.S. government bureau. A friend of Jane Addams, of Freeport, II., she worked at Hull 



Rodriguez 3 

House (The most famous settlement house in the United States. It was founded in 
Chicago in 1 889 by two American social reformers, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. 
Hull House first occupied a dilapidated mansion that originally belonged to Charles J. 
Hull, a Chicago businessman. By 1907, the settlement included 12 new buildings and 
covered an entire block.) almost from its beginning, first as a county visitor and then as a 
member of the Illinois State Board of Charities. Lathrop resigned from the board in 
1901, in protest against a political appointment, but was reappointed by a new governor. 
She served 1 1 years and helped establish the first Juvenile Court (Keith-Lucas). 

President William Howard Taft called Julia Lathrop to the Children's Bureau 
when it was formed in 1912, and she served as its chief until 1921. The bureau owes its 
emphasis on research and on qualified child-welfare workers to her. Julia encouraged 
states to improve birth registration and to provide aid for mothers to prevent unnecessary 
removal of their children (Keith-Lucas). 

All plans to have the school built and ready for the fall of 1958 went very well. 
Students and parents eagerly waited for the start of the new school year. Building 
Lathrop Elementary School was a big success. When Lathrop opened its doors, 29 1 
students were enrolled for the 1958-1959 school year ("School Load"). 

Julia Lathrop Elementary School, in its second year, was dedicated formally at 
2:00 p.m. Sunday, May 15, 1960 ("Dedicate"). To the community's surprise a second 
dedication would be made in the years to come. 

Between 1960-1990, things at Lathrop Elementary School were pretty quiet. The 
children had fun and learned as much as they could in a school year. Each year was a 
bigger challenge; students and teachers would strive to do better. 





















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Rodriguez 4 

In the spring of 1990, Rockford School Board member George Stevens presented 
a four-year-plan to add equipment at four elementary schools each year. Children at 16 
Rockford schools, including Lathrop, had been playing on rough patches of blacktop, 
grassy spots, and isolated swings. At many of the schools, the principals were pushing 
basketball hoops outside, tossing out jump ropes and balls to the children. That is what 
they called playground equipment. If the Board agreed on the four-year-plan, a 
playground would be added to ten schools on the east side and six schools on the west 
side of the city ("Four- Year-Plan"). 

The playground project was delayed for a couple of years. In February 1992, a 
Citizen's Playground Advisory Committee, which studied playgrounds at 20 schools, 
ranked the schools by using a list of criteria to help decide which had the greatest 
recreational needs. The criteria included the kind of equipment at each school, how safe 
it would be, and how close it would be to the school ("Playground Priorities"). 

The Citizen's Committee worked long hours to come up with an objective list. 
They prioritized the list by working on the worst ones first. When they got the list 
together, they presented it to the Rockford school and park leaders and hoped that the 
proposal would help get equipment where it was needed most ("Playground Priorities"). 

Greg Thomas, a student at Lathrop Elementary School, and his classmates had 
been pushing to build a playground at the school. Greg often dreamed of playing out in 
the playground during recess. When he found out that Lathrop was far down on the 
District's list of schools to get money for a playground, Greg started saving his change in 
a jar ("Family"). 


















i 

i 









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Rodriguez 5 

On May 15, 1992, 32 years after the school was formally dedicated, Greg's dream 
came to an end. The Thomas family lost their 1 1 -year-old son. Greg liked to wrap a 
leash around his body and swing from the tree branches imagining he was Indiana Jones. 
That day he accidentally choked himself to death with the leash ("Family"). 

When Greg's family looked at the land beside Lathrop School, they envisioned 
children romping through a playground, running to slides and tire swings. A year after 
Greg died, the Thomas family decided that his dream must live on. The Thomas family 
knew they could not get their son back, so they decided to finish what their son had 
started ("Family"). 

In December 1 992, the Thomases learned that the school had voted to name the 
playground after Greg. Since Lathrop was far down on the District's list of schools to get 
money for a playground, Greg's family decided it was up to them to try to raise the 
money. The family had a lot of work ahead of them and they now had to raise at least 
$70,000 to build the playground ("Family"). 

Lathrop PTO, Student Council, and the Thomas family worked hard to raise the 
money. "I remember Lathrop PTO having several fund-raisers and Student Council 
setting up a swimming pool in the back of the school. The children would dump their 
pennies in the pool to help raise the money for a playground" (Hyslop). The Thomas 
family received grants of $21,000 from both McDonald's Children's Charities and the 
Rockford Park District. The Coleman Memorial Fund at Barber Coleman contributed 
$5,000. Together, they raised about $75,000 ("Memorial"). 

Greg's father, Bob, worked on the playground's design and decided to have it 
shaped like a 'G', with separate areas for older and younger children. There was a lot of 



Rodriguez 6 

work ahead of them and the Thomases hoped to finish the playground by May 15, 1994, 
the anniversary of Greg's death ("Family"). The family rounded up many volunteers and 
together they built the playground ("Memorial"). 

On May 15, 1994, Greg's family, church friends, classmates, and staff members 
gathered outside for the opening and dedication of the playground. The playground was 
named Greg Michael Thomas Playground in memory of the 1 1 -year-old boy. "I think it's 
a memorial of play and energy and joy," said Lathrop Principal Jill Coffman, "a place 
where there are children laughing" ("Memorial"). Many children have enjoyed the 
playground. It is a place that is used all year round. As long as there are children playing 
on the playground, Greg's dream will live on forever. 

Today, Lathrop Elementary School accommodates approximately 340 students 
and is a place to teach children from kindergarten to 5 th grade. The school has housed 
many different programs and the children strive to be "Excellent Lathrop Students" 
(when the children are being loud or bad, they are reminded that only "Excellent 
Students" attend the school) (Hyslop). Julia Clifford Lathrop would be very proud of the 
school, the staff members, and the students. 



Rodriguez 7 

Works Cited 
"Baby Shower." The Boom by the Numbers. July 2002. Northern Funds. 

<http://www.northemfimds.com/resourses/update/baby.htrnl. 
Back of Lathrop School. Photo by Author. 1 1/20/02. 
"Board Lets $1,654,051 in Contracts." Rockford Star. 8/27/57. No Page. Rockfordiana 

Files, Rockford Public Library. 
Classroom. Photo by Author. 11/25/02. 
"Dedicate Lathrop School." Rockford Star. 5/11/60. No Page. Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Family Continues Young Boy's Plan." Rockford Star. 4/14/93. Page 1 A. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"Four- Year-Plan Extends Education to the Outdoors." Rockford Star. 3/24/90. Page 

1A. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
Front of Lathrop School. Photo by Author. 1 1/20/02. 

Greg Michael Thomas Memorial Playground Sign. Photo by Author. 1 1/20/02. 
Gymnasium. Photo by Author. 11/25/02. 
Hyslop, Dinah. Personal Interview. 10/28/02. 
Julia Clifford Lathrop. Photo by Author. 11/25/02. 
Julia Lathrop School Board. Photo by Author. 1 1/20/02. 
Keith-Lucas, Alan, PH. D. "Julia Clifford Lathrop." World Book 2000. CD-ROM. 

2002 ed. 
Lathrop School Mascot. Photo by Author. 1 1/25/02. 
Library. Photo by Author. 11/20/02. 















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; 






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Rodriguez 8 

"Memorial to 'Play, Energy and Joy'." Rockford Star. 5/15/94. Page IB. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
Office. Photo by Author. 11/25/02. 

Playground for Younger Children. Photo by Author. 1 1/20/02. 
Playground for Older Children. Photo by Author. 11/25/02. 
"Playground Priorities." Rockford Star. 2/13/92. Page IB. Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Same Plans to be Used in 3 Schools." Rockford Star. 6/1 1/57. No Page. 

Rockfordiana Files, Rockford Public Library. 
"School Load Hits 24,127." Rockford Star. 10/17/58. No Page. Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 
"Sound Proposal." Rockford Star. 9/18/56. No Page. Rockfordiana Files, Rockford 

Public Library. 
"Trustees Name 3 Schools." Rockford Star. 11/13/57. No Page. Rockfordiana Files, 

Rockford Public Library. 



. 





















Rodriguez 9 




This is a portrait o f Julia Clifford Lathrop . It was donated by the Lathrop family. 
This picture was taken on November 25, 2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



*%--'.>; 






Rodriguez 10 




This board is located off of Clover Ave. It tells us the name of the school and 
the year the school was built. This picture was taken on November 20, 2002 by 
Maria G. Rodriguez. 



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Rodriguez 1 1 




This is the front of Lathrop School . The school is located on Ogilby Rd. and 
Clover Ave. This picture was taken on November 20, 2002 by Maria G. 
Rodriguez, 



Rodriguez 12 




This is the back of Lathrop School. This picture was taken on November 20, 
2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



*ie.-> 



Rodriguez 13 




This is one of the classrooms and this one is used to teach kindergarten. This 
picture was taken on November 25, 2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



Rodriguez 14 




This is the gymnasium . This picture was taken on November 25, 2002 by Maria 
G. Rodriguez. 



Rodriguez 15 




This is the library. This picture was taken on November 20, 2002 by Maria G. 
Rodriguez. 



Rodriguez 16 




This is the office. This picture was taken on November 25, 2002 by Maria G. 
Rodriguez. 



*%.-- - 



Rodriguez 17 



GREG MICHAEL THOMAS 
MEMORIAL PLAYGROUND 

A cooperative effort between **■ 

Ronald McDonald Children's Charities, 

Coleman Memorial Foundation,, 

Lathrop School PTO (S.W.A.M.), 

Rockford School District, ^ 

Robert Thomas Family, 

many community supporters & 

the Rockford Park District. 



This sign was put up when the playground was dedicated. The sign mentions 
everyone that was involved in building the playground. This picture was taken 
on November 20, 2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



Rodriguez 18 




This is the separate playground that is used by the younger children. This picture 
was taken on November 20, 2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



-V- - - 






Rodriguez 19 




This is the separate playground that is used by the older children. This picture 
was taken on November 25, 2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



Rodriguez 20 




This shows the schools masco t. This was put together by the students at Lathrop 
Elementary School and is located right in front of the office. This picture was 
taken on November 25, 2002 by Maria G. Rodriguez. 



Matt Cederholm 
English Composition 
Rock Valley College 
Fall 2002 



Macktown 

Golf 

Course 



Matt Cederholm Cederholm-1 

English 101 NC 
20 November 2002 



A Great old Golf Course 

Macktown Golf Course has been a part of Winnebago County for a very long 
time. The first thing that was in the place of Macktown Golf Course was the city of 
Pecotonic. It was an old Indian village that not much is known about. On September 1 8, 
1926 the Winnebago County Forest Preserve bought an area on the south side of 
Rockton, IL from Fred Rockwell for $19,454.74. This land included: 220 acres which 
consisted of what would be Macktown Forest Preserve, Golf Course, and the old Indian 
village of Pecotonic. They figured since Rockford had Sinnisippi and Sandy Hollow gold 
courses, and they were so successful, they should make one of their own. SO in June of 
1930 a golf course was approved to be built in the Macktown Forest Preserve. ( Golf 
Scrapbook). 



During World War I, servicemen for the US who were overseas took a liking to 
the game of golf. As soon as the war was over, golf exploded in the United States and 
golf courses started being built all over. Soon after, Winnebago County thought that with 
all the people moving into the area that it needed another golf course. After a couple of 
years, they chose a spot, bought it, and it started coming together. In June of 1930, the 
golf course got approval to be built at the site it is presently at. After that, they formed a 



Cederholm-2 

citizens advisory committee to help with the design. Soon after, they started construction 
on Macktown Golf Course. Mostly all of the golf course was constructed by hand with 
only the assistance of two trucks. They did not have the money to by expensive 
machinery of pay for all of the man-hours to run it. In 1930, the clubhouse was finished 
at a cost of $5,000.00. On August 5 lh , 1931, the golf course had its official opening with 
Frank Welsh, Frank Rutz, Charles Lampman, and Fren Johnson, the four main men from 
the advisory committee being the first to tee off. The rate to play, back when it opened, 
was twenty cents for a resident and fifty cents for a non-resident. (Roger B. Gable, Golf 
Scrapbook). 

In 1957, the Cosmopolitan Womens Open Golf Tournament was brought to 
Macktown Golf Course. It was a regular stop for the Ladies Pro Golf Association 
(LPGA). This tournament attracted huge galleries waiting to see the best women golfers 
alive. The tournament also had a Pro-Amateur part in which some ladies carded very 
impressive scores. This tournament lasted until 1965 when Cosmopolitan stopped 
putting on the tournament. (Golf Scrapbook) 

On the 18 th of July, 1965 Jack Nicklaus conducted a golf clinic at Macktown that 
was put on by Smith Oil Company. Many people came from all over Illinois to see him. 
Later that day, he played the course and carded an Impressive 32-36-68. Par at the time, 
was 36-35-71. The lowest score ever carded 34-29-63. (Gable, Golf Scrapbook). 



Cederholm-3 

Over the years, Macktown has endured many changes. In 1953, twenty yards was 
added to holes fourteen and fifteen. In 1955, a practice area was added. A new well was 
added in 1971, because the old one used river water and this caused trouble with the 
cleanliness of the water, and the hoses clogging up. In 199, cart paths were needed. In 
1979, the sixth hole was shortened to a par three. 

Macktown is a beautiful golf course. It has many rustic holes as you travel along 
the course. Almost every time you are there, you are bound to see animals scampering 
around in the woods. Beginners especially like the course because, there is only one 
water hazard on the whole course. 

In 1998, the sixteenth hole was reconstructed differently because; it was thought 
that it was infringing on the old Indian village of Pecotonic. This caused trouble since 
the 16 th had to be rearranged into a par three while the new hole was built. They wanted 
to get the old green away from the Indian village in case there was a burial ground. 
Many people threw up a fit that it was absurd to move the hole. And the last change that 
Macktown has endured was in the winter of 2001 when they rebuilt the interior of the 
clubhouse to accommodate a larger pro-shop to be able to expand the merchandise that 
they sell. 



Cederholm-4 



Many people throughout the years have come to Macktown Golf Course with the 
intent of having a great time. One thing that they knew they could depend on was a great 
round of golf at a fair price. Although, one time back around 1933 the price was raised 
from twenty-five to fifty cents, Richard Carlson said, 'They believed the price was 
utterly outrageous." (Carlson Interview). 

Macktown 's surroundings have changed tremendously over the years, but in this 
golfer's eye people still come for the same reasons. They wake up every morning and 
come out to meet their other friends, all seeing who is going to be the champion for the 
day. 



Work cited 
Bishop, David and Campbell, G. Craig History Of The Forest Preserves Of Winnebago 
County, Illinois. Baisley Printing: Rockton IL, 1979 

Carlson, Richard Personal interview. October 17, 2002 

Gable, B. Roger Golf Scrapbook: The Courses of Winnebago County 1894-2000. No 
Publisher: November, 2000 

Stephen Mack's house photo, on the Internet at 

wvvw.vvscfpd.org/Preserves/GetEducated/educate.htm . Photographer unknown. 
November 2002. 



The first hole at Macktown Golf Course. Photo Taken off Internet at 

www.wcfpd.org/Preserves/PlayG01f/lVlacktovvn.html . Photographer Unknown. 

November 2002 



Maria's Italian Restaurant 

Casa di Amicis 

By 

Pat Bremer 

English Composition 

Rock Valley College 

Fall 2002 



Pat Bremer 
English 101 NA1 
7 December 2002 



Maria's Italian Restaurant 
Casa di Amicis 



On the southwest side of Rockford, in an established neighborhood lined with 
houses and trees, lies a little Italian restaurant not many people are familiar with, but 
which deserves recognition just as well. It is off Winnebago Street on the opposite side 
of Tinker Cottage on the corner of Cunningham and Corbin Streets. There stands a little, 
one-story brick building with a dome-like arched entrance over the doors and wooden 
shutters peeking out from the inside. In a world where bigger is better, location is every- 
thing, and change is inevitable, this quaint Italian cafe shows how time stands still on the 
inside as the world outside succumbs to change. 

Maria Carrotti arrived in America in 1916 coming from Cupano, Italy at the 
tender age of 28. A year later, she married Tissiano Dal Cason, who later changed the 
family name to Cason. She dreamed of making a better life here by opening a local 
grocery store with her husband in 1924. While they tended the store, the couple met 
many people and it was not long before the generous Tissiano started inviting friends 
over for dinner in the big dining room above the store. This is where Maria started 
serving her now famous spaghetti sauce ("Grocery. . . "). 

Things went well for Maria and Tissiano as they continued to thrive in an era 
of optimism as the 1920s saw a stock market boom in the U.S. However in 1929, to 
their dismay, the stock market crashed bringing with it increasing unemployment, falling 



Bremer-2 
production, and falling prices making it the worst period of high unemployment and low 
business activity. This marked the beginning of the Great Depression. 

As many people around the country were hit by the Depression in one way or 
another, so were the Casons as their small investment fell victim as well. The grocery 
store failed, so they picked up the pieces and decided to fix up a small room behind the 
store where Maria started serving her spaghetti to paying customers ("Grocery..."). 
Around this same time, Maria's husband passed away leaving her with the decision of 
expanding their business by building a cafe across the street from the store (Cason, 
Carmellalnt...). 

By 1938, the end of the Depression was around the corner. Maria's family decided 
to purchase an empty corner lot across from their store. This is where the one-story brick 
building was built. The business began to prosper and Maria again saw the need to expand 
her cafe to accommodate the growing number of patrons. A new dining room was then 
added on to the east side of the building in 1947 (Cason, Carmella Int. . . ). 

The restaurant continued to thrive under Maria's ownership for the next 12 years. 
In 1959, however, the community was saddened by the death of Maria Cason ("Maria 
Cason, Co-owner. . . "). Her two sons, Jake and Tony Cason, took over managing the 
restaurant following in their mother's footsteps to run this successful, family-owned 
business. It was now managed by the second generation of the Cason family. 

Soon after he took over the restaurant, Jake visited one of the neighborhood 
establishments and watched his friend make pizza to serve at the bar. He came up with the 
idea of making pizzas at the cafe to be picked up or delivered. This introduced the first and 



Bremer-3 
only carry-out pizza service in Rockford. Today, there are numerous carry-out pizza 
establishments all around town (Cason, Joey Int. . . ). 

In 1960, the cafe entered another phase of development. They opened up a pizza 
factory in the back of the cafe where frozen pizzas are made and delivered to many local 
supermarkets around Rockford (Cason, Joey Int. . . ). Even now, 42 years later, Maria's 
frozen pizzas are found in the frozen food section of many local stores. 

Around this time, the neighborhood surrounding Maria's began to change. The 
predominately Italian residential neighborhood diminished as the older Italian families 
moved to a flourishing east side of Rockford. Today, the neighborhood is represented 
by primarily Mexican descent (Cason, Joey Int. . . ). Also, many restaurants and businesses 
moved to the east side as well. But Maria's resisted the pressure to move because they 
believed they had built up enough clientele at this time who truly enjoyed the ambiance of 
this traditional little cafe. "To us, it's a landmark," Mrs. Cason said, "If you moved the 
location, it wouldn't be Maria's" ("Grocery..."). 

In 1993, Maria's saw change again with the passing of Jake Cason. His legacy was 
handed down to his wife, Carmella, and her two sons. By then, the older generation of 
patrons were not seen as much at the cafe and the younger generation discovered its charm 
and tradition. It was now managed by the third generation of the Cason family. 

When visiting Maria's Italian Cafe, the man standing in the same place where Jake 
Cason stood for many years preparing the pasta dishes, is Joey Cason, his son. When this 
writer interviewed Cason about how he felt about this, his comment was, "I have thought 
about closing the business, but then I sit back and think about how fortunate I am to follow 



^-. _ 



1 



Bremer-4 
in my father's footsteps in doing something he truly enjoyed. Not many people can say 
that these days!" 

Cason also says he has seen a few changes throughout the years. One of the changes 
is that they no longer see a need to serve lunch because many of the factories have closed 
down in the area. Also, because of the tougher DUI laws, they made a decision to close 
earlier because most people who dine there indulge in a few drinks as well. Cason adds that 
those who come to Maria's know that it is not comparable to any east side eatery because, as 
he puts it, "We're off the beaten path" (Cason, Joey Int... ). 

There may have been a few changes in the past 60 years, but the feeling when entering 
the cafe is one of time standing still. It is the same bar with happy, smiling bartenders tending 
to the noisy, crowded patrons. The little wooden tables and chairs with the red and white 
checked tablecloths and the little colored lights adorning each room, are still the same. The many 
pictures of family, friends, and celebrities have not changed. The waitresses, some of whom 
have been dedicated to their jobs for many years, are still hustling throughout the cafe 
making sure everyone is tended to efficiently. These are just a few things that have not changed 
because in doing so it would be detrimental to its existence. 

Long before Maria's proved to be more than just a building and more than delicious 
Italian food, Tissiano Cason started a tradition long ago upstairs in that dining room above their 
neighborhood store when he invited friends for dinner. That tradition is simply stated above 
the entrance door of the little cafe on a sign that says, "Casa di Amicis" which means "house of 
friends." 

The menu at Maria's expresses Jake Cason' s philosphy. It reads, "After all is said and 



*"& - - 









Bremer-5 
done, really, can there be anything more beautiful, more memorable than good food, good 
wine, good conversation with family and friends? This is the good life. Salute. 

In this ever changing world, it is refreshing to know that Maria's Italian Cafe deserves 
the right to remain in its own habitat and continue to thrive for many more generations. 
Wherever she is, Maria Cason is smiling! 



Works Cited 
Cason, Carmella. Telephone Interview. 25 September 2002. 
Cason, Joey. Telephone Interview. 18 October 2002. 
Cason' s Grocery Store on Cunningham Street. 

Personal photo by the author. 09 November 2002. 
"Fun, Food and Plenty of It." Rockford Register Star . 02 May 1993. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
"Grocery Expanded Into Noted Cafe." Rockford Register Star . 09 November 1972. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
Jake Cason (Photo). Photographer unkown. Acquired from the Rockfordiana Files. 

Rockford Public Library. Date of photo unknown. 
Maria Cason (Photo). Photographer unkown. Acquired from the Rockfordiana Files. 

Rockford Public Library. Date of photo unknown. 
"Maria Cason, Co-owner of Cafe Dies." Rockford Register . 22 May 1959. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
"Maria's." Rockford Register Star . 26 June 1987. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
"Maria's Co-owner Jake Cason Dies." Rockford Register Star . 28 September 1993. 

Rockfordiana Files. Rockford Public Library. 
Maria's Italian Restaurant from Corbin and Cunningham Streets. 

Personal photo by the author. 09 November 2002. 



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